A Clockwork Orange : Analysis


Analysis and Commentary on A Clockwork Orange

After Dr. Strangelove in 1963 and 2001, A Space Odyssey in 1968, Stanley Kubrick makes a third Film of science fiction in 1971 with A Clockwork Orange, adaptation of the eponymous novel by Anthony Burgess. If the movie-maker had previously terrified the censorship in 1961 with his version of Lolita, by Nabokov, his voluntary exile in England, however, allows him to perform his work with the financial support of the Warner Studios. Among Kubrick’s films, A Clockwork Orange is the climax in terms of violence and sexuality, a definitive critique of modern societies.

Violence and Society: A sociological Analysis of A Clockword Orange

Let us turn to the bottom of the story. Clockwork Orange is a fable built in three movements. The first movement describes the atrocities committed by Alex, a teenager who lives with his parents in a residential suburb. At the head of a gang of criminals, Alex obey only one rule: his own. Hidden behind a mask, he beats up, rapes, spreading terror on his way to satisfy their need for ultra-violence. Betrayed by his gang who suffer serious permanent tyranny, Alex is finally arrested by the police for murder. In the second movement, we follow the young person in prison where his stay in order to reduce his sentence, he agreed to undergo an experimental treatment to remove all violent and sexual impulses of his psyche. Now free and harmless in the third movement, Alex, who finds himself on the street becomes the helpless prey of his former victims to serve as a means to attempt to overthrow a political, orchestrated by a group of dissidents.

Violence and Mankind : A philosophical analysis of A Clockword Orange

What really shocks in Clockwork Orange is the vision of a society that ultimately proves even more amoral than the hero. Thus, the good citizens bullied by Alex appear more socially castrated as free, giving a pathetic vision of modern man, kneeling before a power that is there only to control failing to ensure its protection. We find no idealism in Clockwork Orange. Police officers are former offenders, social workers are bitter, members of the elite rub shoulders with criminals in upscale bars and policies are portrayed as manipulative, the Minister, concerned about public opinion to maintain the its place, the enemy of the opposing party, the writer, whose assistance to the person who raped his wife points out that a Machiavellian calculation. Alex is annoying that the product of the company resigned to radically transform the individual prefers rather than challenge it.

Violence and Sexuality: A psychoanalytic approach of A Clockword Orange

Very faithful to the plot of the novel by Anthony Burgess (excluding the conclusion), Stanley Kubrick emphasizes the decadent side of the world he describes exacerbated by a representation of sex in the scenery: pornographic pictures, furniture-like naked women sculptures giant phallus … In a cruel irony is the culture in all it can be more advisable (Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony) that will be singled out to explain the origin of violent behavior of Alex. The film also treats the costumes of these characters. Decked out in garish colors, even in the hair dyes feminine bow and grotesque, they illustrate the dimension occupied by ridiculous people in this futuristic world. Facing them, the band cultivated the opposite of Alex, dressed in white overalls, military boots and hats from another era, reinforcing the discrepancy between their refined looks and brutality of their actions. Freud inspired Kubrick.

The psychedelic aesthetics of A Clockwork Orange is one of the most unique in the history of cinema that the passing years can now make it appear as overly kitsch. However,  a science fiction movie has been rarely so accurate in its analysis of society, the subversive work of Stanley Kubrick remains a distorting mirror that reflects so cynical and terrifying world we live in today. A clockwork orange is indeed a brilliant philosophical movie.

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