Why is Burgess' work set in a futuristic England if technology does not play a major role in the setting?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I tend to think that Burgess is constructing a vision of the future that is not the stereotypical notion of the future.  Traditionally, when works discuss "the future" they do so with the presence of technology and all sorts of devices and gadgets that are almost cliched in depicting the future.  Burgess is doing more in terms of discussing the future in terms of the manner of thought and social elements that can be present in the future.  The same desire to want to use rational thought and scientific "progress" in order to appropriate the world in accordance to its subjectivity is present, though without the "bells and whistles" of technology.  Burgess is more concerned with discussing a future temperament of perfection, which is the same underlying element in the technological vision of the future.  Dr. Brodsky's belief that he can "perfect" Alex is rendering of the future where free will can be conditioned to be socially "acceptable" and represents an end to which the future is seen.  In this futuristic setting, the state is able to exert all kinds of control in order to make human beings and their social setting "perfect."  It is here where Burgess' depiction of the future is most chilling.  While it does not traditionally approach "the future," it does show the future to be something that we recognize as a direction where society can go, an entity that the work is begging us to assess.

Read the study guide:
A Clockwork Orange

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question