Author: Finnbhar Mclaren
Taking away somebody’s will to choose to do evil does not make them good, as their actions become meaningless and given the choice would choose to do evil. The Prison Chaplin wonders if “God want[s] wordiness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses bad perhaps in some way better than a man who has the good imposed upon him?” (pg.71) The Chaplin believes those who repent for their sins are rewarded in heaven, and wonders what happens to a soul who can only do good acts, but who’s actions are meaningless, and in his religious perspective do not redeem their souls. The rest of the prisons administration do not share the Chaplain’s views, seeing the tortures methods of imposing good as punishment enough for their previous sins, and since when the treatment is used on people they feel “all the pain and thirstiness and horrible sickness come over me [the protagonist] real horrorshow and proper,” (pg. 95)when faced with illegal or violent thoughts. The Prison Charlie is hesitant to put the Ludovico Technique into practice, stating to his employees, “it’s insincerity was clear to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature of moral choice.” (pg.94) However he is only “concerned with cutting down crime,” and “with relieving the ghastly congestion in our [the] prisons.” (pg.94) So after seeing the treatment demonstrated by young Alex, he reluctantly agrees, saying “oh it works all right, God help the lot of us.” (pg.96) Ludovico’s technique forces people to do good acts, but does not make them a good person, instead reducing them to a creature to be controlled, as they cannot resist physical force from others.
Author: Harris Powell
The preservation of choice is necessary to keep people under the label of human. Like the title of the book itself, "A Clockwork Orange," an organic human can not become a mechanical or clockwork like object. If one can not chose who they wish to be and make their own choices based upon their beliefs, they seize being human. Alex chooses to do evil deeds, fully knowing what he is doing, but he makes his own choice and this makes him a real person. After Alex gets brainwashed, he loses his choice in life. He can not act upon what be believes in and instead turns into a metaphorical sheep getting corralled into his "proper pen." Having a choice in life is the most important aspect being human and without it one falls out of the definition of this species. Alex is observably evil but it is better than replacing all organic qualities about him.
Author: Mac MacLaren
Anthony Burgess constructed “A Clockwork Orange” to criticize how governments rehabilitate individuals through the imposition of good. He even goes as far to include another novel within his own that reflects and solidifies his views. “The attempt to impose upon man, a creature of growth and capable of sweetness, to ooze juicily at the last round the bearded lips of God, to attempt to impose, I say, laws and conditions appropriate to a mechanical creation, against this I raise my sword-pen” (Ch. 2 P. 18). Alex mocks this passage while he reads it from F. Alexander’s novel “A Clockwork Orange”, yet this quote is precisely Anthony Burgess’ message that he is attempting to project. He argues that one is not truly good if good is being forced upon them. Alex, the novel’s protagonist is a wicked criminal, and even the priest is a career driven alcoholic. These character faults exemplify the exact message that Anthony Burgess is trying to convey: if an individual should choose evil and immorality, good behaviour imposed upon them will be hollow and meaningless.
Mac MacLaren, Harris Powell and Finnbhar McLaren