Thursday, December 19, 2019
Music, Violence, and Identity in Anthony BurgessÃ¢â¬â¢ A...
Music, Violence, and Identity in Anthony BurgessÃ¢â¬â¢ A Clockwork Orange Linking the fundamental conflict between individual identity and societal identity with musical imagery in Anthony BurgessÃ¢â¬â¢ A Clockwork Orange creates a lens through which one can recognize the tendency that violence has to destroy an individualÃ¢â¬â¢s identity. Although Alex clearly associates violence with his own individual identity and sense of self, he consistently reveals the impossibility of remaining an individual in the face of group-oriented violence. Images drawn from the realm of music parallel the destruction of AlexÃ¢â¬â¢s identity, either through conformity to a groupÃ¢â¬â¢s style of violence or through failure to embrace the homogeneity of group actionsÃ¢â¬ ¦show more contentÃ¢â¬ ¦But the development of BeethovenÃ¢â¬â¢s symphony soon puts a different interpretation on what appears, at first glance, to be AlexÃ¢â¬â¢s individual act of violence. After the solo bass intones an introduction, soloists and then a full chorus and orchestra join the soloist , unified in singing the same poem. What initially seems like an individual remaining separate from a group does not remain so for very long. As other soloists join the solo bass, the singers declare that Men throughout the world are brothers/ In the haven of thy [joyÃ¢â¬â¢s] wings.2 If Alex truly does believe his violent act to be joyful, then the joy of violence blinds men throughout the world in a brotherhood. The image of the tigers (plural) leaping up inside Alex, also representing the group character of his act, reinforces the binding nature of violence. AlexÃ¢â¬â¢s supposedly individual act gets absorbed into a universal brotherhood. The nature of the orchestral music chosen to accompany particular stages of AlexÃ¢â¬â¢s narrative further underlines the process by which violence causes the diminishment of individual identity, by compelling obedience to a group. When Alex fancies this new violin concerto by the American Geoffrey Plautus (32), he envisions vecks and ptitsas, both young and starry, lying on the ground screaming for mercy, and I was smecking all over my rot and grinding my boot in their listos (33). Although a violin concerto might suggestShow MoreRelatedEssay on The Need for Brutality in A Clockwork Orange 4668 Words Ã |Ã 19 Pages Ã Ã Ã Burgess A Clockwork Orange, a critically acclaimed masterstroke on the horrors of conditioning, is unfairly attacked for apparently gratuitous violence while it merely uses brutality, as well as linguistics and a contentious dÃ ©nouement, as a vehicle for deeper themes. Although attacks on A Clockwork Orange are often unwarranted, it is fatuous to defend the novel as nonviolent; in lurid content, its opening chapters are trumped only by wanton killfests like Natural Born Killers. 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