Anthony Burgess Writing Styles in A Clockwork Orange

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Nadsat, which means "teen" in Russian, is the language spoken in A Clockwork Orange. It is a mixture of Russian, English, and American slang, and rhyming words and phrases, with a touch of Shakespearean English. The singsong rhythm of the speech underscores the heavily stylized world of the novel and of Alex's own mind. Although many readers often initially struggle with understanding this slang of futuristic teenagers, they quickly pick up the speech patterns and the few hundred new words through the context in which they are used. By mirroring the violent acts the characters commit, Nadsat has a kind of onomatopoeic quality. That is, the words sound like the actions they describe. For example, "collocoll" means bell, and it also sounds like a bell ringing. Nadsat is also often highly metaphoric and ironic. The word "rabbit," for example, means to work, and the word "horrorshow" means beautiful...

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This section contains 295 words
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A Clockwork Orange from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.