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Some say A Clockwork Orange is comedic. How is this a sort of dark comedy, and what are...

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trialanderror | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted February 20, 2012 at 9:17 AM via web

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Some say A Clockwork Orange is comedic. How is this a sort of dark comedy, and what are some examples of it within the novel?

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

Posted February 20, 2012 at 1:43 PM (Answer #1)

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I don't know if I would go as far as saying that this text represents an example of dark comedy. Perhaps we can relate the comedy to the fact that it is a satire on various beliefs and opinions. This is perhaps most clearly shown through the Minister of the Interior and the way that he tries to stamp out violence and create peace and order in an otherwise troubled society. His solution of taking away the personal freedom of characters who act in a way that threatens the stability of society clearly indicates that Burgess is using him to satirise the way in which socialist governments can often forget the rights and needs of the individual in the face of their attempts to achieve their far reaching goals of stability and peace for society.

The Minister is a character who openly confesses he has taken away Alex's human traits and made him into a passive individual who no longer fits in to society and is less than a human. The Minister above all has a very utilitarian veiew towards achieving State security which ignores the individual. The Minister's mantra is "The point is that it works," which seems to summarise his approch towards society's stability. Anything is acceptable, even the dehumanisation of Alex, in order to achieve this goal. There is a kind of humour in this satire.

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