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A Clockwork Orange
The freedom of choice and the rehabilitating form of corrections encase the realm of A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess. It produces the question about man's free will and the ability to choose one's destiny, good or evil.
"If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange-meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil or State"(Burgess ix).
Burgess expresses the idea that man can not be completely good or evil and must have both in order to create a moral choice. The book deals upon reforming a criminal with only good morals and conditioning an automated response to "evil." Burgess enforces the idea of the medical model of corrections, in terms of rehabilitating an offender, which is up to the individual. That one should determine the cause and then find an exclusive treatment to resolve that individual's case, then apply it. This is the case with the character Alex, a juvenile delinquent introduced into prisonization then conditioned by governmental moral standards. This lack of personal moral choice imposed upon Alex creates conflicting situations in which he has no control over. This is apparent when trying to readjust into society. As conflicts arise within the spectrum of criminal justice the main focus is revolved around the corrections aspect of reforming the criminal element.
Within the confines of the seventies Londoner. The character, Alex is created as the ultimate juvenile delinquent leading a small gang. Living within his own world the use of old Londoner language and attire reflect the non-conformity with society. Let loose within a large metropolitan, Alex is engulfed in the affairs of several criminal practices, from rape to aggravated assault. As a juvenile delinquent, Alex is finally caught and seen as an adult offender. Like all offenders he promotes his innocence and sets blame upon his companions. "Where are the others? Where are my stinking traitorous droogs? One of my cursed grahzny bratties chained me on the glazzies. Get them before they get away. It was their idea, brothers. They like forced me to do it"(Burgess 74).
Betrayed by his cohorts Alex is beaten by local officials and confesses to all the crimes. As a point to retribution a sergeant states, "Violence makes violence"(Burgess 80) and proceeds to through Alex back into the cell. All the while Alex detests the treatment and conditions of the local jail, " So I was kicked and punched and bullied off to the cells and put in with about ten or twelve other plennies, a lot of them drunk"(Burgess 81). Unlike the fair treatment of most juveniles Alex was finally getting the taste of adult corrections, being held in a drunk tank along with other felons. Faced with the reality of prison life, Alex is introduced to prisonization by the same system which incarcerated him. Showing him one must be tough and violent to survive within the penal system.
The term prisonization refers to the effect when an offender is subjected to the culture, morals, rules, and values of a penal institution. Then this is inscribed into his or her own behavior and deems them fit as a norm. This is the case involving Alex when he must prove his worth in a correctional institution by beating a fellow inmate.
"If we can't have sleep let's have some education, our new friend here had better be taught a lesson …I fisted him all over, dancing about with my boots on though unlaced, and then I tripped him and he went crash crash on the floor. I gave him a real horror show kick on the gulliver"(Burgess 102).
Although being brutal deems fit for Alex, he realizes that only repentance and good behavior in the eyes of the officials can release him from the jaws of justices. So in order to be viewed as a reforming criminal Alex turns to religion. As the prison minister clearly states,
"Is it going to be in and out of institutions like this, though more in than out for most of you, or are you going to attend to the Divine
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A Clockwork Orange, Alex, Anthony Burgess
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