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How can I use the psychoanalytic approach to analyze A Clockwork Orange?

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trialanderror | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted February 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM via web

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How can I use the psychoanalytic approach to analyze A Clockwork Orange?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM (Answer #1)

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One way to apply the psychoanalytic approach to this book would be to consider the protagonist, Alex, and his development in the novel. In Freudian terms, Alex is a youth who is ruled completely by his id, or his selfish responsive nature that causes him to act instinctively in a way that does not think about how his actions impact on others. Alex is presented as a youth whose id, or whose instinctual drive to satisfy the pleasure principle, runs rampant in his consciousness. He shows little evidence of being able to marshall the other two aspects of his consciousness, the superego and the ego, to control his id and reign it in. He therefore is an uncontrollable youth who is sadistic and lacks any form of remorse.

Even after the way that he is tortured using Ludovico's Technique and hsi time in prison his basic consciousness in psychoanaltyical terms remains the same. It is only in the last chapter that he shows any chance of developing into a "normal" young man when he begins to dream about having a wife and children. This last chapter suggests that he is moving slowly towards a normal and healthier consciousness in terms of having a balanced id and ego ruled over by the superego.

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