A Clockwork Orange: A Movie About Morality

The movie The Clockwise is often misinterpreted and banned in some countries.

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The movie “The Clockwise” is often misinterpreted and banned in some countries.

Dominic Cash, Reporter

Many movies are banned in certain countries, one of the most controversial ones is Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange”. This movie hides three themes. These three themes are Society vs. Freedom of Choice, The Necessity of Evil in Human Nature, and The Interdependence of Life and Art.  The movie is set in London, showing a dystopian time. The movie is all about morality, but it’s hard to depict it. 

The movie’s main character is a young man by the name of Alex Delarge. Alex skips school almost every day to go out with his gang he calls his droogs. Alex and his “droogs” Assault. Rob and harass public citizens. Towards the middle of the movie, Alex decides to rob an old rich lady’s house where he knocks out the old lady with a piece of her own art. 

As Alex flees from the house after hearing police sirens, Dim (one of his droogs) hits him with a milk bottle and the gang leaves him to be arrested. Alex is found guilty of murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison. But Alex decides he does not want to serve the entire sentence so he joins an experiment that lets him skip his entire sentence and walk free but what Alex doesn’t know is that the experiment brainwashes him and makes him turn sick whenever he watches violence or listen to Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven. After the experiment, Alex walks free and decides to go back to his home where he finds his family rented his room to another person. Alex is forced to be homeless and is assaulted and sexually assaulted by his old gang which now are cops. Alex crawls to a writer’s house and eventually, Alex becomes the victim of his prior victims.  

Examples of where the theme of society vs freedom comes through are whenever they brainwash Alex and show him violent scenes to program his mind. By doing this, he is losing his sense of morality.  in A Clockwork Orange, the state is willing to protect society by taking away freedom of choice and replacing it with prescribed good behavior.

Examples of where the necessity of evil in human nature shines all throughout the movie by Stanley Krubrick writing all the adult characters as inhuman and more of a walking shell of a person but Alex is written as very human because he follows his violent impulses, but when the experiment’s technique eliminates the violent and evil aspects of Alex’s personality, he becomes less of a threat to society but also less human Alex loses his choice to do or chose the moral action. Alex is not truly good because he can’t make the choice to be good or do good, which is a necessity to be a complete human being.

The Last theme that is hidden in the movie is the Interdependence between Life and Art. An example where it shows that Alex sings and uses music, film and art to express and understand his life. Alex also uses music to detach from life and to cut himself off from his conscience and let his violent and sexual impulses take over. In the film, when Alex prepares to “sexually harass” the writer’s wife he sings “Singin’ in the Rain” and dances like Gene Kelly does in the musical. By making the horrible act into a song and dance. Alex distances himself from the brutality of his victims’ suffering.

The movie “A Clockwork Orange” is a very misinterpreted film that focuses on morality but also hides it behind layers of violence. The movie is horrifying and a masterpiece at the same time.