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A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange (1971) directed by Stanley Kubrick is based on the 1962 dystopian novel by Anthony Burgess.

Set in the future, A Clockwork Orange follows the career of fifteen year old Alexander DeLarge (Alex). His main pleasures in life are classical music, rape, and random acts of extreme violence ("ultraviolence" in Alex's idiom). Alex roams the streets at night with his gang, committing crimes for enjoyment, while no one attempts to stop them or the other gangs that ravage the community. He tells his story in a teenage slang called "Nadsat", which combines eighteenth-century Russian and English slang.

Eventually Alex is incarcerated and "rehabilitated" by a programme of aversion therapy. However, the experiment is nothing more than a harsh exercise in behavioural conditioning that strips Alex of his free will. Though it renders him incapable of violence (even in self-defense), it also makes him unable to enjoy his favourite classical music, an unintended side effect.

The moral issue at stake within the book is that Alex is now "good", but his ability to decide this for himself has been taken from him; his "goodness" is as artificial as the clockwork orange of the book's title.

Eventually Alex falls afoul of some of his former victims, and the ensuing political fuss results in the removal by the state of his conditioning; he gleefully returns to his early habits but finds he has lost the taste for it, a more mature responsible unit of society.

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It uses material from the Wikipedia article "A Clockwork Orange".

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