A Clockwork Orange Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 67 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Clockwork Orange.
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Free Will

A Clockwork Orange explores the ideas of good and evil by asking what it means to be human. Burgess asks and answers the question, "Is a man who has been forced to be good better than a man who chooses evil?" Alex chooses evil because it is in his nature to do so. His impulse towards good is artificial because it comes from outside of him, instilled by a government bent on controlling the populace by controlling their desires. By eliminating all of the bad in Alex through the Ludovico Technique, the government also eliminates that very thing that constitutes his humanity: his freedom to choose. They treat the symptom, not the cause of Alex's evil, oblivious of their own complicity in his behavior. For Burgess, an evil Alex is a human Alex and, hence, preferable to an Alex who has been programmed to deny his own...

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This section contains 948 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.