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Which events or issues might have influenced the writing of A Clockwork Orange, while...

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trialanderror | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted February 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM via web

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Which events or issues might have influenced the writing of A Clockwork Orange, while acknowledging that it was published in the sixties?

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

Posted February 19, 2012 at 1:15 PM (Answer #1)

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Interestingly, a massive influence on Anthony Burgess was a trip that he took to the Soviet Union, what is now Russia. Burgess was both fascinated and shocked in equal measure by the various gangs that he saw in Leningrad and how difficult it was for society to control them because the police were mainly focusing on the various ideological crimes that were being perpetrated against the state. This helps him to form the "droogs," which are a combination of Russian and American/British youth culture. In the 1960s in Britain, the youths were sharply divided between the Mods and the Rockers, and so gang violence and identity was something that was on everybody's mind at the time.

In addition, another issue that interested Burgess was that of state control in people's lives and took away freedom of thought and individual responsibility and gave it to the state. The extreme example of this was of course the Soviet Union again, but also in the late 1940s under a Labour government Britain initiated many policies that had a definite socialist slant, such as the establishment of the National Health Service and the nationalisation of various industries.

These two historical elements can therefore be seen in the creation of this novel.

 

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