Choice, liberty and repression in A Clockwork Orange

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Abstract

The English philosopher and political economist, John Stuart Mill, was one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century, and a major contributor to the concept of classical liberalism. In On Liberty, published in 1859, Mill provided a rational justification for the freedom of the individual in opposition to the claims of the state to impose unlimited control. In A Clockwork Orange, the state takes away the freedom of choice of the main protagonist, Alex, and replaces it with prescribed good behavior. A Clockwork Orange can be viewed as a dystopic forecast, a warning about the dangers of a totalitarian society, which prioritizes social control and efficiency over human nature. The overarching theme of A Clockwork Orange is the danger inherent in depriving individuals of free will, even the wickedest criminals. The setting of A Clockwork Orange takes place in a repressive, violent society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDystopia and Economics
Subtitle of host publicationA Guide to Surviving Everything from the Apocalypse to Zombies
EditorsCharity-Joy Revere Acchiardo, Michelle Albert Vachris
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter5
Pages58-66
Number of pages9
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781315168333
ISBN (Print)9781138051355, 9781138051362
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Economics and Popular Culture
PublisherRoutledge

Cite this

Geerling, W. (2018). Choice, liberty and repression in A Clockwork Orange. In C-J. R. Acchiardo, & M. A. Vachris (Eds.), Dystopia and Economics: A Guide to Surviving Everything from the Apocalypse to Zombies (1st ed., pp. 58-66). (Routledge Economics and Popular Culture). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315168333-5