A Clockwork Evil

My independent reading book was A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. This novel covered many topics, and mainly was a social commentary on the troubled culture and society of post Second World War England. Evil is a very important tool used by Burgess, mainly in the thematic sense. A Clockwork Orange uses Evil in the theme of Good vs. Evil. The question in the novel is if forced good is better than chosen evil. Alex, the narrator, goes through a metamorphosis, from choosing evil, to being forced to be good, and then once again Alex chooses evil. Burgess leaves it up to the reader to decide which is more ethical, even though he does heavily support, with subtle details and motifs, that free will, even it results in a chosen evil is better than a forced good.“Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed on him”(Burgess 95)? Evil is also used in the novel to show the darker side of humanity, the side that allowed the narrator to rape, beat, rob, and terrorize innocent people in the city, with his band of thugs or so called “droogs”. The novel, because of this evil is repulsive, disgusting, and unsavory, and after reading more than 15 pages, the reader is left with a sick feeling simply because of the content being discussed. Evil is a powerful force, apparent in everything from literature to the nightly news, and no matter how much we try to reassure ourselves that evil will never touch us, it will, and A clockwork Orange is a perfect example of the ever present and permeating nature of evil.



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