The Rough Guide to Cult Fiction discussion

A Clockwork Orange

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message 1: by Khinna (last edited Feb 04, 2009 10:17AM) (new)

Khinna (whyiwakeearly) In college, I was told on numerous occasions to read "A Clockwork Orange" by many adoring, cult reading friends of mine. However, whenever someone negates that I "have" to read someone, my objective is to dissuade myself from the book, and hate it even more. Perhaps, that is why I ventured into cult classics- not your "A" typical happy, sappy literature.

However, one cult classic I've always found in my disfavour is "A Clockwork Orange". It left me with a sipid taste, and hatred of Alex. He exhibited no maladies other than his inability to have empathy and sympathy.

Can a person be inherently evil and unreformable? There is no doubt that Alex was evil, and he got even worse in the end when he understood that the system was behind him. Did society create 'Alex' or did 'Alex' create the society? Does prison teach criminals hypocrisy or truly change the way they think and not just act?

message 2: by Stefani (last edited Jul 08, 2009 11:39AM) (new)

Stefani | 18 comments I think Alex was able to manipulate the system in order to avoid a long prison term, and when that reform ultimately went haywire, the experimental nature of the "reform" was exposed as a horrible mistake. Personally, I believe that change has to come from within the individual; I don't think that all the behavioral conditioning in the world will help someone if they are not committed to changing their own behavior and taking responsibility for the consequences.

message 3: by Casey (new)

Casey I just finished reading this, and I have to agree with you stefani. I think that Alex needed to realize himself that his actions were wrong, not from the government trying to brainwash it out of him. He needed to realize his actions were wrong and felt wrong to himself before he could change into a better person

message 4: by Ashleigh (new)

Ashleigh | 8 comments I havent read it yet and am thinking maybe I should hurry up and give in. Im similar to you Khinna where if Im told I should like something I tend to dislike it or stay away from it for as long as possible. It is in my current to read pile but I never pick it up.

message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo This is one of the few cases of prefering the movie to the book. It was just a lot easier. I hated reading the weird words in the book and i had already seen the movie so i knew what was going to happen anyway. Maybe i would have liked it more if i hadn't seen the movie.

message 6: by Casey (new)

Casey I enjoyed this book. But I can understand why you wouldn't like it too, because the characters are so unlikeable. After reading it I really feel the author wants you to hate Alex, and to be disgusted at his actions. To me Alex is both a product of the society he grew up in, and is a contributing force to that same society and why it continues to be so violent. To me it feels like you should come to the conclusion that Alex is just a bad person, and that the reforming and prison won't work because he is this evil person. In the end only his own feelings and beliefs can make him into a better person because Alex cannot become the model citizen they want him to be unless he truly wants the change for himself.

message 7: by Stefani (new)

Stefani | 18 comments When will Alex realize that false eyelashes aren't very becoming?

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