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A Clockwork Orange

The film A Clockwork Orange presents a vision of deviance in a future society, a society extrapolated from the growing urban crime problems of 1970 when the film was made. The exact year in which the film is set is not indicated, but it is likely somewhere around our current era. The film creates a sense of menace from the first, and yet at the same time, it uses strong imagery and high stylization to turn its dark vision into a black comedy. The concept of deviance by which sociologists try to explain aberrant and anti-social behavior, or behavior that goes against the norms of society, explains the delinquent activity in A Clockwork Orange, though the film undercuts a strict interpretation of crime as deviance by developing the idea that some crime is an expression of personal preference and inner freedom.

The opening sequences of A Clockwork Orange look to the near future, extrapolating from our own time to one where many young people have become urban marauders, taking out their frustrations in violence and living completely amoral lives. Alex is the leader of this group, and he serves as narrator as well, telling his own story in a way that is chilling because of the apparent saneness of the voice describing the most horrifying acts of violence, which can also be seen in the carefully controlled images of the film. Each of the crimes committed in the opening frames will serve as models for later scenes in the film once Alex has been brainwashed and returned to society. He then experiences as victim much of what he inflicts on others in these opening scenes. It is clear that every element is being carefully shaped to fit with the overall structure of the film and with its theme. The imagery is also carefully designed, with outfits for the marauding boys that are disarming in their stylish non-threatening elements. The white shirts, black pants, and hats become a different sort of gang symbol than we know today, but on...

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A Clockwork Orange. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:39, December 06, 2021, from