Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange What's Up With the Title?

By Anthony Burgess

What's Up With the Title?

As Anthony Burgess writes in the introduction (entitled "A Clockwork Orange Resucked," hee hee) the title refers to a person who "has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil or (since this is increasingly replacing both) the Almighty State."

In other words it stands for the "application of a mechanistic morality to a living organism oozing with juice and sweetness." So, basically, it refers to a person who is robotic behaviorally but one that is, in all other respects, human. The title is significant not only because Burgess references it about, oh, a dozen times throughout the book, but also because it sums up what threatens our protagonist-narrator.