Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange Essay Example
Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange Essay Example

Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1567 words)
  • Published: August 7, 2017
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In the futuristic setting of A Clockwork Orange, Alex DeLarge is the main character and narrator who leads a sadistic gang of teenagers called his "droogs" - Pete, Georgie, and Dim. After becoming intoxicated at the Korova Milk Bar, they embark on a series of violent crimes including assaulting a homeless man, fighting with a rival gang, and engaging in theft. One of their dangerous activities involves playing a reckless game known as "Hogs of the Road," where they drive stolen cars with no regard for pedestrians or other drivers. The gang decides to carry out an unexpected visit by pretending to be in danger in order to gain entry into a stranger's home. During this horrifying incident, they sing and laugh while brutally harming their victims - a married couple - even forcing the husband to watch as his wife is raped.

Later on,


the gang returns to the Korova for some drinks which unveils Alex's deep passion for classical music and exposes his friends' dissatisfaction with his arrogant leadership. Once back home, Alex has a drawer filled with stolen items that he keeps before falling asleep while listening to Beethoven. His pleasure derived from classical music is closely intertwined with the ecstasy he experiences during acts of violence.

The following day, Alex skips school alongside his passive parents who lack the courage to set boundaries for him; instead believing his excuses about having personal "problems" when returning home late at night. It is on this day that Alex engages in sexual activity with two unfamiliar girls before getting into an argument with his friends regarding Georgie's devised plan.While strolling by a marina, Alex harms Georgie

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in the groin and pushes him into the water. Dim tries to assault Alex with his chain, but Alex evades it, causing Dim to also fall into the water. Deceptively, Alex extends his hand to Dim, but when Dim reaches for it, Alex cuts him with a knife. Despite this incident, the group continues discussing Georgie's plan which involves an unexpected visit to a woman's house. Unable to enter through the door, Alex enters through an upstairs window as his friends wait outside. The woman has already contacted the police so Alex strikes her with her large phallic sculpture and departs. When he reunites with his friends, Dim smashes a full bottle of milk on Alex's face resulting in him falling down. He is arrested and informed that the woman he attacked has died. He receives a fourteen-year prison sentence.

Two years into his incarceration, Alex develops an interest in the Bible and fantasizes about whipping Jesus while enjoying tales of torture. The Minister of Interior selects Alex for participation in a two-week experimental reform technique and transfers him to Ludovico Medical Facility where he is injected with a substance that induces sickness while being forced to watch compilations of cruel scenes involving violence. Later on classical music accompanies these films specifically...Beethoven's illness evokes an overwhelming urge for violent behavior in him, to the point where he would rather die than experience it. Upon returning home, Alex finds that his parents have rented out his room to someone else. A person from his past recognizes him and attacks him, but two police officers, who happen to be Alex's former friends Dim and Georgie, step in. They

take Alex to a state road and bring him to a shallow water bath where they hold his head underwater and beat him. Left alone, Alex stumbles onto the road and ends up at Mr. Alexander's house - a previous victim of his. Initially not recognizing Alex as the person responsible for raping his late wife and leaving him wheelchair-bound, Mr. Alexander eventually realizes who he is after seeing newspaper articles about him. Drugged by Mr. Alexander, Alex wakes up slowly in an upstairs locked room while downstairs Beethoven's 9th Symphony plays loudly - causing immense pain for Alex which leads him to jump out of the window. After several weeks, he wakes up in a hospital bed where he is welcomed by his parents blaming the government's "cure" for what happened. Mr. Alexander has been institutionalized and a well-paying job has been arranged for Alex. The Minister of Interior expresses remorse by giving Alex a new stereo that plays Beethoven's 9th Symphony; however, it no longer incites any reaction from Alex suggesting that he has reverted back to his previous demeanor before undergoing the "cure".According to the DSM-IV-TR (2000), Conduct Disorder is characterized by repetitive and relentless behavior that violates the rights of others or social norms. This includes aggression towards people and animals, destruction of property, theft, and serious rule-breaking. These behaviors cause significant impairment in academic, social, or occupational functioning. While Alex exhibits several destructive traits typical of this disorder, insufficient information about his background makes it difficult to determine when these behaviors started. However, based on the severity of his actions, it can be inferred that they began at a young


Throughout the film, Alex displays aggression through various acts. He initiates an assault on a homeless man and engages in a fight with a rival gang while carrying weapons. He also uses physical violence without a weapon by kicking Mr. Alexander in the face. His aggression is further exemplified by the rape of Mrs. Alexander and assault of the cat lady. Additionally, Alex steals from his victims.

According to the DSM-IV-TR (2000), individuals with this disorder often misinterpret others' intentions as more hostile and threatening than they actually are, leading them to respond with what they perceive as reasonable and justifiable aggression. This is portrayed in the scene where Alex ambushes Georgie and Dim to assert dominance within their group after Georgie takes charge.

Furthermore, there are memorable instances where descriptions of Alex damaging possessions occur throughout the text with intactIt can be inferred that due to Alex's recklessness on the road, the stolen car was left in poor condition. He exhibits his dishonesty by flipping a desk containing Mr. Alexander's personal items and knocking over a large bookcase while opposing Mrs. Alexander. Using a pair of scissors, he cuts off her garment. This film emphasizes Alex's enduring characteristic of being deceitful, as he seeks personal gain through deception. He lies to his parents about having a job and pretends to be sick to avoid going to school. He manages to infiltrate numerous unfamiliar homes initially by pretending to be in danger. His objective is achieved when he successfully executes this plan at the Alexander residence; however, when it fails, he resorts to burglary instead. Another significant example of Alex's deceit is his interest in the

Ludovico technique, which appeals to him solely because it allows him to reduce his prison sentence. Under false pretenses, he is selected for the treatment and accomplishes his goal. Alex consistently breaks rules by frequently skipping school and staying out late at night despite not having proper supervision from his parents and associating with delinquent peers (DSM-IV-TR 2000). Initially, I believed that diagnosing Alex with Antisocial Personality Disorder would be appropriate; however, this diagnosis cannot be given to individuals under 18 years old, and Alex is only 15 at the start of the storyAccording to the DSM-IV-TR (2000), inconsistent discipline from parents increases the risk of developing Antisocial Personality Disorder for individuals diagnosed with Childhood-Onset Type Conduct Disorder. The movie suggests that Alex has returned to his previous state, implying that he may have developed Antisocial Personality Disorder since he meets the criteria and had an early onset of Conduct Disorder. The Ludovico Technique, a fictional treatment similar to Aversion Therapy, aims to suppress behavior by associating it with an aversive stimulus. This technique is controversial as it raises questions about true "cure" versus limiting freedom due to fear. The priest in the movie expresses concern about lack of choice in this treatment. I believe this approach is ineffective for Conduct Disorder because it only addresses symptoms rather than underlying issues. Multisystemic therapy (MST) could be suggested as an intervention for this problem, primarily targeting adolescents with antisocial and delinquent behavior. MST incorporates strategies from cognitive behavioral therapy, parent management training, and various family therapies, recognizing that behavior manifestations vary among individuals.It is crucial to consider all factors when treating a patient as each individual

is unique. Medications are occasionally prescribed, but not commonly. A combination of various therapies and medication might be sufficient. MST remains the optimal choice as it comprehensively addresses the issue and provides a personalized approach. Research studies demonstrate that this therapy effectively reduces delinquent behavior and drug use, while also preventing incarceration or hospitalization. Nonetheless, although MST is a viable treatment option for Conduct Disorder, it may not be as effective for Alex due to insufficient family support and lack of parental involvement in his life. Additionally, genuine desire to improve is necessary for someone to actually progress. It remains uncertain whether Alex perceives his "ultra-violence" as a problem. In my opinion, MST may be more effective for younger individuals. I have not researched intervention options specifically for Antisocial Personality Disorder because I believe that Alex regressed at the end of the film. More information is required to determine appropriate intervention options.

- American Psychiatric Association.(2000).Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.).Washington, DC: Author.
- Options for managing behavior disorder.(2011).Harvard Mental Health Letter, 27(9), 1-3.

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