Paradise Lost

Chaos and Structure in 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'Paradise Lost' College

The battle between the need for structure and the creative freedom of chaos is one that sits at the heart much of great literature. They are never discussed as harmonious or complimenting; they must be in conflict and locked in eternal struggle. Literature has always depicted this clash of ideologies. Keats, for example, wrote in contrasting Apollonian and Dionysian styles which are effectively representative of chaotic ecstasy and powerful reason. Burgess also adds his thoughts on this debate running through the core of human existence with his novel ‘A Clockwork Orange’. The accepted critical view of the novel is that it is an argument for free will, which is true. However, I believe Burgess explores it much further as he delves into whether free will leads to chaos due to humans’ innate attraction to it or whether the positive aspects of structure appeal to our rational selves.

Milton, on the other hand, steps outside the already established debate and investigates, through ‘Paradise Lost’, whether chaos and structure can be looked at objectively and also presents them as having a type of duality, as if one is a doppelganger of the other to truly attack the reader’s assumptions. What is...

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