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A Clockwork Orange [A Burgess]

1917 – 1993

A diatribe against behaviourism (or «behavioural psychology») of the 1940s to 1960s as propounded by the psychologists John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner. Burgess disapproved of behaviourism as much as I do myself, calling prominent behaviourist B. F. Skinner’s most popular book, Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971), «one of the most dangerous books ever written». Although behaviourism’s limitations were conceded by its principal founder, J. B. Watson, Skinner argued that behaviour modification—specifically, operant conditioning (learned behaviours via systematic reward-and-punishment techniques) rather than the «classical» Watsonian conditioning—is the key to an ideal society.

¤  Read http://www.ebooktrove.com/top_ten/AClockworkOrange.pdf←  by Anthony Burgess

¤  →Stanley Kubrick‘s movie script ← also written by Anthony Burgess  [clips ↓ below]

Bum  (singing . . .):
In Dublin’s fair city Where the girls are so pretty I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow Through streets broad and narrow Crying Cockles and Mussels Alive, Alive, OH
One thing I could never stand is to see a filthy old drunky howling away at the filthy  songs of his fathers and going Blerp Blerp in between as it might be a filthy old  orchestra in his stinking rotten guts. I could never stand to see anyone like that  whatever his age might be. But more especially when he was real old like this one was.
Can you spare some cutter me brothers? Oh, go on do me in ya bastard cowards. I don’t want to live anyway not in a stinking world like this.
Oh?  And what’s so stinking about it?
It’s a stinking world cause there’s no law and order any more. It’s a stinking world because it lets the young get on to the old like you’ve done. Oh, it’s no world for an old man any longer. What kind of a world is it at all? Men on the moon and men spinning around the earth  and there’s not no attention paid to earthly law and order no more. Oh dear dear land I fought for thee . . .
•→  «The police! C’mon, let’s go!»

[Alex…] The Durango 95 purred away real horrorshow. A nice warm vibratey feeling all through your  guttiwuts. Soon it was trees and dark, my brothers with real country dark. We fillied around for a while with other travelers of the night, playing hogs of the road.  Then we headed west. What we were after now was the old surprise visit.  That was a real  kick and good for laughs and lashing of the Ultra-Violent.

♦  Alex puts his Droogs in place  ↓

As we walked along the flatblock marina, I was calm on the outside but thinking all  the time. So now  it was to be Georgie the general saying what we should do and what  not to do and Dim as his mindless bulldog. But suddenly I viddied that thinking was  for the gloopy ones and that the oomny ones used like inspiration and what Bog sends.   Well now, it was lovely music that came to my aid.  There was a window open with the  stereo on and I viddied right at once what to do.   I had not cut into any of Dim’s main cables and so with the help of a clean kashtook  the red, red kroovy stopped and it did not take long to quiet the two wounded soldiers  down in the snug in the Duke of New York.  Now they knew who was master and leader.   Sheep, thought I, but a real leader knows, always when like to give and show generous  to his unders. Well, now we’re back to where we were, yes?  Just like before and all forgotten?  
Right, right?  Right, right?  Right, right?  
Pete:              Right.
Dim:                 Right.
Georgie Boy:      Right. 
•  Some differences between the film and the novel

Kubrick’s film is relatively faithful to the Burgess novel, omitting only the final, positive chapter, wherein, Alex matures and outgrows sociopathy. Whereas the film ends with Alex offered an open-ended government job — implying he remains a sociopath at heart — the novel ends with Alex’s positive change in character. This plot discrepancy occurred because Kubrick based his screenplay upon the novel’s American edition, its final chapter deleted on insistence of the American publisher. He claimed not to have read the complete, original version of the novel until he had almost finished writing the screenplay, and that he never considered using it. The introduction to the 1996 edition of A Clockwork Orange, says that Kubrick found the end of the original edition too blandly optimistic and unrealistic.

  • Critic Randy Rasmussen has argued that the government in the film is in a considerable shambles and in a state of desperation while the government in the novel is quite strong and self-confident. The former reflects Kubrick’s preoccupation with the theme of acts of self-interest masked as simply following procedure.
    One example of this would be differences in the portrayal of P.R. Deltoid, Alex’s «post-corrective advisor». In the novel, P.R. Deltoid appears to have some moral authority (although not enough to prevent Alex from lying to him or engaging in crime despite his protestations). In the film, Deltoid is slightly sadistic and seems to have a sexual interest in Alex, interviewing him in his parents’ bedroom and smacking him in the crotch.
  • In the film, Alex has a pet snake. There is no mention of this in the novel. This was added by Kubrick due to Malcolm McDowell’s fear of snakes.
  • In the novel, F. Alexander recognises Alex through a number of careless references to the previous attack (e.g., his wife then claiming they did not have a telephone). In the film Alex is recognised when singing the song ‘Singing in the Rain’ in the bath, which he hauntingly had done whilst attacking F. Alexander’s wife. The song does not appear at all in the book, as it was an improvisation by actor Malcolm McDowell when Kubrick complained that the rape scene was too «stiff».
  • In the novel Alex is offered up for the treatment after killing a fellow inmate that was sexually harassing him. In the film this scene was cut out and instead of Alex practically volunteering for the procedure, he was simply selected by the head of the government due to speaking out of turn.
  • In the novel, Alex drugs and rapes two ten-year old girls, whereas in the film the girls are full grown young adults that seem rather to have consensual, playful sex with him, with no suggestion of using any drugs, and without any violence.
  • In the novel, the writer was working on a manuscript called A Clockwork Orange when Alex and his gang are breaking into his house. In the movie, the title of the manuscript is not visible, leaving no literal reference to the title of the movie.

♣  A rather unsuccessful adaptation of the book/film into a musical on stage (2004), complete with a musical score by the Edge and Bono. Phil Daniels is probably the one element worth reporting.

There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs [1], that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim; the four of us dressed in the highest  fashion, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks [2] what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry. The Korova milkbar was a milk-plus mesto [3], and you may, O my brothers, have forgotten what these mestos were like, things changing so skorry [4] these days, newspapers not being read much neither. Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else,  so you could peet [5] it with  drencrom or synthemesc, which would give you a horrorshow fifteen minutes admiring Bog And His Angels and Saints in your left shoe with lights bursting all over your mozg [6]. Or you could peet the old moloko [7] with knives in it, as we used to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of dirty twenty-to-one, for the [?] and crusty, and the old ‘in-out’, ‘in-out’ . . .

•  Glossary:

1. friends   –   2. minds   –   3. place   –   4. fast, quick   –   5. drink   –   6. field of vision   –   7. milk

¤ There are many websites featuring glossaries for ‘A Clockwork Orange’. Here’s two links:

http://www.artofeurope.com/kubrick/nadsat.htm ←


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