A Clockwork Orange

An Analysis of Youthful Rebellion and Social Change in A Clockwork Orange and The Hunger Games College

“Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?” (Burgess 86).

In his 1962 classic A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess explores the concept of dystopian societies by employing his 15-year-old rebellious anti-hero, Alex, to demonstrate the effects of an oppressive and struggling government. Alex in many ways can be identified as a combatant against the State, rebelling against the resulting mundane and suppressive social environment through carrying out malevolent deeds such as rape, murder, and theft with his friends, or—as termed in the novel’s slang English dialect nadsat—his “droogs”. In addition, Katniss Everdeen in Suzanne Collins’ 2008 novel The Hunger Games commits several unruly actions in order to assert her position as an insurgent against the dystopic State of Panem and its Capitol. It is evident that both of the central characters in each of these narratives apply their youthful and rebellious efforts, as a symbol for wishing to alter the social conditions of each of their dystopic environments.

The primary setting in Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange is a semi-futuristic and unspecified English-speaking city, ruled by a Government that Burgess portrays as having qualities of both American...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 2051 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10942 literature essays, 2736 sample college application essays, 804 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