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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Fate and Free Will

A Clockwork Orange highlights the question of whether people are destined to their fate, or whether free will and external circumstances can influence people's life outcomes. Alex believes that hum...

Morality and Ethics

The central message of this book seems to be that the freedom to choose (good or evil) is fundamental to mankind. Indeed, this element of moral choice distinguishes humans from machines and robots....

Manipulation

The Government in Alex's world is rather Machiavellian, and will do anything to ensure its own survival as well as the stability of the State. To that end, it does not blink twice employing questio...

Good vs. Evil

The battle between good and evil gets complicated in A Clockwork Orange, because the novel really presents the battle between forced good and chosen evil. Who is better: someone incapable of doing...

Power

In A Clockwork Orange, the Government seeks to suppress individuals and individual choice in favor of the stability of the State, largely to ensure its own survival. Towards this end, the Governmen...

Transformation

Burgess values transformation a decent amount, and has famously said that a book without a hint of "moral progress" or personal transformation has no point and is better left unwritten. Thus, despi...

Violence

Violence and instances of criminality are ubiquitous in this book. In just a few chapters, Alex and his entourage have performed every trick in the criminal's Bible: boozing, doing drugs, mugging,...

Language and Communication

Language, specifically nadsat, has an important several important functions in this work. First, it works as a literary device that seeks to temporarily alienate the reader from the world of the pr...
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