The Seeds of a Clockwork Orange

Summary Pages #1-73

If A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess has shown anything, it is this: it's a terrible thing to read of the very essence of evil, and come to realize that it is identical to the face that stares back at you in the mirror. The gut-wrenching violence found in just the first seventy pages of the book is sickeningly congruent to the foul jokes and jests that we, the "droogs" of today, throw about carelessly. It all makes us wonder just what evil we are capable of.

Imagine a world where violence is common spread and the teenagers who spread it are running rampant like wild beasts. Enter Alex, the leader of his group of droogs, Pete, Georgie, and Dim. After visiting a milk-bar and becoming fully hopped up on an insane drug, Alex leads his gang every night in a search for trouble wherever they can find it. These teens as well as many others appear to be absolutely soulless beings, beating, mutilating, raping, and ravaging at will. And the only thing that seems to be slightly civilized about Alex, the self-proclaimed leader? His undying love of classical music. But what is even more disturbing is Alex' adoration for the vision of violence and blood that come when the music plays.

Apply this to the life of the modern day teenager. Is bludgeoning a man to death for his car while playing Grand Theft Auto truly any different from Alex and the gang's mindless offenses? What excuse do we have for the jests we make towards each other about killing, raping, hurting someone? How, in all honesty, can we condemn the atrocities of A Clockwork Orange when we ourselves can be found equally guilty, if not in the actual actions but in crude thought? Hypocrisy is all it can be called.

So, in turning the pages of A Clockwork Orange, many may find themselves convicted, or find the pages to be a mirror reflecting the depths of their own eyes through the fictional life of boy named Alex. But if in nothing else save this be certain, O my brothers: A Clockwork Orange is not but a novel, but this? This is real life. And Anthony Burgess seemed to know that we, the youth, have to right ourselves before we are swallowed by the nightmare world of Alex and his droogs, and find out just what kind of evil we truly are capable of.