Session with Cath Davies

First day of a two week brief which is to create a new contemporary book cover for the novel: A Clockwork Orange

Burgess A. (1962) A Clockwork Orange.

Film Kubrick S. (1971) A Clockwork Orange.

Cath Davies talked us through the Significant scenes, Character, Language, Narrative devices and Visual Motifs. These are the notes I took of today session –

  • Nadsat which argot used by the Alex in Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange.
  • The main character Alex is also the Narrater.
  • The Droogs are the gang he’s in and leads. They wear white clothes, a hat and have one decorated eye.
  • Alex is Cultures and loves listening the Beethoven.

The story is broken down into three parts –

  • First – Is an intro into Alex, his game the Droogs and they’re acts of violence.
  • Second – Alex is arrested and is experimented on, as part of a government program, so that he can leave prison early.
  • Third – He leaves prison a new man. Unable to do any bad because he’d feel sick as a result of the program, He was essentially hypnotised. His parents turn they’re back on him and police beat him. By chance he encounters the man(writer), who earlier on in the story Alex made watch as he raped his wife, who helps him and gives him shelter not knowing who he actually was. The Writer is writing a back call A Clockwork Orange and having read about Alex’s brainwashing he protests and gets it reversed.

More notes –

  • The novel title means an orange (something natural) is being controlled by something Mechanical.
  • The treatment Alex received left him dehumanised – deprive of positive human qualities.
  • Nation of Dystopia, which is the opposite to Utopia, sort of like what the future is like in the film The Terminator.
  • Violence.
  • Violence by Alex vs Controlled Violence in the government violating Alex’s human rights.
  • How Alex going from being the predator in the first part but become the prey in the second and third.
  • Author Anthony Burgess never created violence but he dressed it up.
  • “to turn a decent young man into a piece of clockwork should not, surely, be seen as any triumph for any government, save one that basis of it’s representatives”.
  • The eye is very important.
  • Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs scene, when Mr Blonde tortures police man, was inspired by Stanley Kubrick (1971) A Clockwork Orange scene when Alex dances to the music as he beats the guy and rapes the woman.

    We then explored the current visuals other there for A Clockwork Orange. In doing this we could see the recurring themes and cliques

  • The colour Orange.
  • Face ,hat and Eye. A lot with no other detail suggest de-humanisation.
  • Beethoven + music.
  • Blood.
  • Milk.
  • Cartoon style.
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