Although it’s true what they say about all great things coming to an end, we are sure that ‘A Clockwork Orange’ will stay with us for a very long time.
To say goodbye to this Book Club we spent some time playing our own version of the old game Pictionary, using words from the novel. Our book clubbers jumped at the task with their best Nadsat and showed how proficient they have become at using the made-up language of Alex and his droogs. (If you want to become as good as them here’s a full Nadsat glosary).
We also re-imagined our favourite scenes from the point of view of other characters involved and shared our points of view on the final chapter of the book.
When the book was to be published in the United States, Burgess’ editor in New York decided that the chapter #21 was too bland and left it out of the US version. Since Kubrik’s film was based on the edited version of the book, most people are unfamiliar with the original ending, which has led to some degree of controversy on whether the story is better with or without it.
“I always wanted to know the meaning of ‘A Clockwork Orange’. Through the book I’ve realised what those words mean… Do you want to be good because you have been taught to do so or because you really feel like being good? This book lets us approach ourselves through the mind of a boy who sees the world differently and in a way we’re not used to.”
Carolina. Book Club. 13 April 2013
If you’ve also started your journey through ‘A Clockwork Orange’ you’ll enjoy re-living it in your head. Take a look at the first part of this presentation showing the most memorable moments of the book chosen by our dear Book Clubbers. (Navigate with the left and right arrows)
To begin this book club we spent some time today drawing connections between ‘A Clockwork Orange‘ and other works of dystopian fiction such as 1984, Farenheit 451 and Brave New World, the latter being the subject of one of the most interesting iterations of this book club.
After exploring common themes and motifs of the genre including represive states/societies and the protagonist’s struggle to regain his individuality, we moved on to discuss the main topic of ‘A Clockwork Orange’: the presence of moral choice as a decisive element that distinguishes human beings from machines or animals.
During the next few weeks we will explore a work of literature that refuses to be forgotten and that makes us look at one of the most fundamental aspects of human life, our perception of good and evil. Come and join us every Saturday from 1 to 3 pm!
Meanwhile, how would you answer the question in this picture?