A Clockwork Orange

Defining the Devil: Violence and Evil as a Societal Construct in A Clockwork Orange

Stanley Kubrick wrote the screenplay for and directed the film A Clockwork Orange based on the book by Anthony Burgess with the same title. The distinguishing feature of the book is the language the narrator, Alexander DeLarge, uses: Nadsat, a sort of invented Russian slang. In the novel, Nadsat exists to distance the reader from Alex's violence. While Kubrick also employs Nadsat in the film, it does not have the same effect as in the novel, as Alex's violence at the beginning of the movie is easily seen on the screen and clearly the worst in the film (McDougal). However, saying that the scenes at the beginning of Kubrick's film are the most violent, as McDougal points out, is very arbitrary and subjective. That definition of violence fits only into the context of our society's understanding of it rather than the film's portrayal of it. Kubrick positions the audience to see and understand the problems associated with defining violence.

Stanley Kubrick's first task as director of A Clockwork Orange is, as the author of this work, to distance the viewer from the violence as was done in the book. As Peter J. Rabinowitz points out, "The fact that the violence in the film is visual and hence more immediate, only puts further...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 722 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4152 literature essays, 1394 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in