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A Clockwork Orange Analysis English Literature Essay

637 words (3 pages) Essay in English Literature

5/12/16 English Literature Reference this

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The story of A Clockwork Orange, written by Anthony Burgess, is a story about choice, told in a disturbing yet humorous manner shows Alex, ‘your humble narrator’, as violent, wild futuristic youth who cares nothing for the harm he causes to other people. To him, his actions are nothing more than a game. But when he is finally taken in by the proper authorities, he enters a strange treatment which turns him from a nuisance to the society to a fully functional citizen. A Clockwork Orange is set in a future London and is told in nadsat, a slang made from a mixture of Russian, American and British English.

John Anthony Burgess Wilson was born in Manchester, England into a Catholic middle-class family. His father was a pub pianist and a cashier. After the death of his mother in 1919, he was brought up by his aunt and later by his stepmother. Burgess studied at Xaverian College and Manchester University, where he did his majors in English language and literature. He graduated in 1940. During World War II Burgess served in the Royal Army Medical corps. Burgess died on November 25, 1993 after a battle with lung cancer.

Naked Lunch, written by William S. Burroughs, was considered, by Time magazine, as one of the ‘100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005’. It is a known fact that Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch while he was still under the influence of what he called ‘the sickness’. In other words, he was on drug while writing the novel and couldn’t even remember writing most of it when he had finished it. Naked Lunch is a collection of very loosely related incidents, many of the events take place in a location called Interzone, this place even has its own systems of education, religions, political parties and law. The story’s central character, considered by many critics, is William Lee, ‘who crops up from time to time and comes across as Burroughs’ literary alter-ego.’ (Kane) The book constantly has descriptions of drug-buying, drug-taking, sexual acts committed while on drugs, the paranoia of being caught doing drugs, and the efforts to find medical (professional) help to tackle or control their problem of addiction. (Kane)

As the author was on drugs, much of the books structure was planned by Allen Ginsberg, who gathered scraps of paper which he found scattered around in Burroughs’s room. The book contains 21 satirical pieces that show bare the horrors of reality; which led to the title. “Let them see what they eat.” The nightmarish visions of William Lee, a junk addict contains science fiction, biological fantasy, disgusting images, and sick jokes. “May all your troubles be little one, as one child molester says to the other.” It also tries to find from the use of drugs and homosexuality a philosophical statement – addiction is seen as a metaphor of the human condition.’ (“William S. Burroughs”)

William Seward Burroughs was an American novelist, essayist, spoken word performer, who lived in many well-known cities like Tanger, Paris, Mexico City and London. (Kirjasto) William S. Burroughs was born in St. Louis, Missouri in February 5, 1914 into a successful business family. His mother was a descendent of Robert E. Lee, the inventor of the Burroughs adding machine. “As a boy,” he recalled, “I was much plagued by nightmares. I remember a nurse telling me that opium gives you sweet dreams, and I resolved that I would smoke opium when I grew up.” (“William S. Burroughs”) Burroughs graduated with a degree in English literature from Harvard University in 1936. Burroughs died in Lawrence on August 2, 1997.

Both A Clockwork Orange and Naked Lunch show some horrible and shocking scenes (through the usage of words) to the audience.

1: An event that may have contributed to a miscarriage she suffered.

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