Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Violence

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We live in a violent society. The news shows us footage from highway accidents and mass shootings. Video games feature cold-blooded murder. And prime-time TV is almost always about a sociopath or serial killer. (Although the airwaves have been safer since How I Met Your Mother concluded.)

How does this media affect our behavior? Studies are always conflicted, which is why movies like A Clockwork Orange exist. Only one thing is certain—we can't get away from violence, in real-life and in the media. This movie explores our relationship with violence, and how it can both excite us and repel us.

Questions About Violence

  1. Why is Alex a violent person? Is it society? Is it how he was raised? Or was he born that way?
  2. How does Alex's attitude about violence change?
  3. The Ludovico technique is supposed to turn Alex away from violence, but how is the procedure itself violent?
  4. Does the film glamorize violence?

Chew on This

A Clockwork Orange depicts multiple kinds of violence: gang violence, sexual violence, and mental violence being three prominent types. The film considers mental violence, even against a criminal like Alex, to be the most egregious of the three.

Because the film is shown through Alex's POV, the violence is often portrayed as exciting and fun.

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