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A Clockwork Orange: Anthony Burgess Research Assignment (Essay Sample)


Reading response blog - A Clockwork Orange; Anthony Burgess
You should not summarize or talk about “plot,” but rather highlight a particular aspect of craft as it pertains to character development, that interests you as a writer, or that as a reader enriches your reading experience and understanding of the story.
Here is an example from one of my classmates - do not copy it the professor has read theirs!
I am interested in the author's use of drugs in this story. Before the children left to rampage in the night, they took drugs at the milk bar. Some of the most sweeping imagery I have read here so far is Burgess's descriptions of what it feels like to experience the drugs. Perhaps there is an underlying message about irresponsible drug use. More than that however, I believe that the descriptions help the reader understand how unbridled recklessness and rebelliousness feels.
The milk bar itself is interesting. It seems to be the hub where Alex and the other gang members are actually regarded like children. For example, the millicents repeatedly say to the children, “Very kind, lads, God bless you, boys.” They also refuse to believe that they committed certain crimes or properly punish them. “Milk” being the central beverage here makes perfects sense; milk is what babies drink—especially during breast-feeding—and despite their brutish behavior, they are still mere children. I think that Burgess does this for a couple of reasons. He wants to ensure the reader that their behavior is completely unjustifiable and wrong while also reminding us that they are children with a certain degree of remaining innocence. In this way, the milk and the milk bar help develop the theme that is central to this class. Despite awful faults, any character can be sympathized with and regarded with unbiased compassion.
Coinciding with the central “loving the unlovable” theme of the class, the reader can catch a glimpses of Alex having deeper thoughts than his usual violence. For example, one of the first people his gang brutalizes is a drunk man with several books. Before knocking him out, Alex tells Dim to hold back because he sometimes like to hear what their victims have to say “about life and the world,” which reminds me of Ballard thinking about the stars before falling asleep. It proves that despite their vile behavior, these children have degrees of sentiment. It also resembles how many neglected children behave; brutish on the outside, but rather sensitive below the surface.
These meaningful periods are often triggered by smoking cigarettes, which I believe are an important symbol throughout the story. I find it ironic that a harmful drug that even adults shouldn't use is the catalyst for their bouts of innocence and depth. It makes me feel awful for these uncontrollable children and wish that they were parented better or grew up in nurturing educational environments. On a darker level, the glimpses of partiality that Alex experiences before “finishing off” his victims remind me of the last words that people make before they die or are executed. I am interested to see how future violent actions “resolve” in terms of these moments, in the same way that I looked forward to the end of Flannery O'Connor's short stories and how the characters achieved their reckonings.

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In The story “A Clockwork Orange “by Anthony, is a clear representation of the use of personality as one of the crafts in character development. I find it easy to understand the plot of the story by simply focusing on the manner in which the author describes the characters. A good example is the scene whereby the author describes how it feels to be high on drugs. This is a direct description of character and creates an image in the reader’s mind to help them picture the seriousness of what the auth...
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