Free falling Essay

Submitted By Efound
Words: 585
Pages: 3

LIFE AND LETTERS about the writer’s novel, “A Clockwork Orange.” The writer first published the book “A Clockwork Orange” in 1962. Nearly ten years after its publication, its title and content became known to millions because of Stanley Kubrick’s very close film interpretation. The writer first heard the expression “as queer as a clockwork orange” in a London pub before the Second World War. It’s an old Cockney slang phrase, implying a queerness or madness so extreme as to subvert nature. In 1961, the writer began to write a novel about curing juvenile delinquency. He had read somewhere that it would be a good idea to liquidate the criminal impulse through aversion therapy; he was appalled. He began to work out the implications of this notion in a brief work of fiction. The hero of both the book and the film is a young thug called Alex. He rejoices in articulate language and even invents a new form of it; he loves beauty, which he finds in Beethoven’s music above everything; he is aggressive. With his companions, he terrorizes the streets of a great city at night. The young antihero is arrested, and the Home Office or Ministry of the Interior introduces a form of aversion therapy guaranteed to eliminate criminal propensities forever. Alex is injected with a substance that brings on extreme nausea, and the onset of nausea is deliberately associated with the enforced viewing of films about violence. Soon he cannot contemplate violence without feeling desperately sick. He is forced to walk a tightrope of imposed “goodness.” The state has gone too far: it has entered a region beyond its covenant with the citizen; it has closed to its victim a whole world of non-moral goodness. What the writer was trying to say was that it is better to be bad of one’s free will than to be good through scientific brainwashing. B. F. Skinner’s book “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” came out at the very time that “A Clockwork Orange” first appeared on the screen, ready to demonstrate the advantages of what we may call beneficent brainwashing. Given the right positive inducements, Skinner argues, we shall all become better citizens, submissive to a state that