Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Clockwork Orange

I finished Clockwork Orange awhile ago, but haven't gotten around to posting about it yet. I found this book to have a similar temper to Orwell's 1984. One of the things that makes this book a classic is Burgess' use of language. The book is extremely violent, but Burgess uses a slang language based on Russian to deaden the shock of the horrific acts the characters engage in. There are some online dictionaries that will help you translate this slang called Nadsat, but I found that by using context and the repetition of the words, I was able to figure out the meaning of most of the Nadsat words. Shortly into the book, I wasn't at all focused on this new language, and it read just like English slang.

The book carries some heavy implications about where violence in society could take us in the future. What are the consequences of reforming criminals? Must one choose to renounce violence, or can we force reform on them? What are the consequences if someone is forced through conditioning to renounce their former ways?

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