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A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange


by Anthony Burgess

Analysis: Writing Style

Clever, playful

As we discussed under "Tone," Burgess' clever and unique style owes much to his use of nadsat, which has its fair share of onomatopoeia to clue us in on what is being said (those of us who aren't experts in Russian or the Cockney accent, at least). For instance, the very second sentence of chapter one shows just how clever the text as a whole can be: "There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry" (1.1.2). From the context, we may reliably infer that "droog" must mean "friend" or "companion;" Dim "being really dim" is suitably cute; and "flip dark chill winter bastard though dry" sounds like some free-association wordplay on what a "winter evening" ought to feel like. Burgess doesn't explicate, but we know exactly what he means. Simply clever.

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