A Clockwork Orange Topics for Further Study
by Anthony Burgess

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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

The setting for Burgess's novel is a dystopian society. What are some of its dystopic elements? Does the United States share any of these elements? Are there ways in which the United States can be described as a dystopia? Provide examples.

Burgess claimed that A Clockwork Orange emphasizes the idea that free will is a central ingredient of what it means to be human. Write an essay agreeing or disagreeing with this notion and provide support for your argument from the novel.

With your classmates, make a list of all the crimes that Alex and his droogs commit, then assign appropriate punishment for each crime. Be as specific as possible. On which items do you disagree with others in your group? What does this say about your own ideas of justice and the role of society in punishing criminals?

With members of your class, draw up a list of slang terms or other words you use that older generations would not recognize. To what degree does using these words define your interaction with friends?

Research the punishment for first-degree murder in your state. If possible, would you recommend that convicted murderers be given the opportunity to undergo the Ludovico Technique in lieu of the state sentence for murder? Why or why not? Explain if there are certain conditions you would attach.

Research cases of political scandal in your own city or state and describe how that scandal is represented in newspaper or television accounts. How did the accused characterize their situation or their attackers? What does this tell you about the role of media in shaping public opinion?

The Korova Milkbar symbolizes the decadence of Burgess's society in the novel. Name an analogous institution that symbolizes twenty-first-century American values and support your claim.