A Clockwork Orange

Yin and Yang

Black and white, morning and night: the world fills itself with conflicting forces that must coexist in order for it to run smoothly. Forces like diversity and the fear of terrorism or competition and the desire to peacefully live with one another must both be present in order for one to survive. Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange also contains this idea, “Duality is the key to Burgess’s view of reality; he believes the essence of reality is its double nature” (Kennard 87). Burgess believes there is an equilibrium that allows each force to live side by side. Harsh, foreign language and the characterization used throughout A Clockwork Orange create a novel filled with dualities and contribute to the message that opposite but coequal forces make up the composition of Burgess’s world.

Alex and his droogs, or friends, speak in Burgess’s invented slang throughout the novel. This quirky language keeps the reader in the dark for much of the novel, until they begin to the grasp it around the middle of the novel. Teenagers in A Clockwork Orange’s dystopia use Nadsat mainly when describing violent scenes, “Burgess relies principally on an odd language he has devised—a mixture of current English, archaic English, and anglicized...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 747 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4481 literature essays, 1451 sample college application essays, 183 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