The changing culture in England and the development of a youth culture influenced Burgess to want to explore and write about teenagers. For example, at the time he wrote the novel, England was increasingly concerned about a rise in juvenile violence, something that Burgess explores. Burgess said too that he based Alex and his gang's rape and beating of a woman in the novel on an incident during World War II when his wife was beaten and robbed by drunken servicemen. Other real life concerns that influenced him included totalitarianism.
A predictable line of dystopian novels influenced the writing of A Clockwork Orange, including Huxley's Brave New World, Orwell's 1984, and Zamyatin's We. Burgess also wished to critique behavior modification and the work of B.F. Skinner.
Burgess's interest in and training as a linguist inspired him to develop the slang language called Nadsat that Alex and his friends use in the novel. Part of what makes the novel seem real is the well-developed alternative
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