A Clockwork Orange Questions and Answers
by Anthony Burgess

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What is the symbolism of music in "A Clockwork Orange"?  

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Little Alex loves Beethoven. Although Alex is a thorough-going sociopath in every other respect, having no regard or empathy for the people he terrorizes, gang rapes, beats, and kills for his amusement, his adoration of Beethoven's music is the one light in his dark mind. He even feels a glimmer of identification with other people who like Beethoven, which, for Little Alex, is remarkable.

Ironically, when Little Alex is being reconditioned using the Ludvico method that causes him to become physically ill at the thought of violence, Beethoven plays in the background as he is watching films of the concentration camps and other atrocities. Therefore, Little Alex ends up becoming ill at the sound of...

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