15 January 2018

Clockwork Orange

Probably best known as the title of Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange, the title began with a 1962 novel by Anthony Burgess.

In the novel, a clockwork orange refers to a person who "has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil or (since this is increasingly replacing both) the Almighty State."

The novel and film asks what is "goodness" and whether it makes sense to use aversion therapy to stop immoral behaviour. Director Stanley Kubrick, writing in Saturday Review, described the film as being "A social satire dealing with the question of whether behavioural psychology and psychological conditioning are dangerous new weapons for a totalitarian government to use to impose vast controls on its citizens and turn them into little more than robots."

A clockwork orange is a person who is robotic behaviorally, but one that is, in all other respects, human.

The novel was also adapted as A Clockwork Orange: A Play with Music in 1987 in a theatrical adaptation by Anthony Burgess.

Clockwork Orange was also the name of a supposed 1970s operation to discredit British politicians.

"Clockwork Orange" is a nickname for the Glasgow Subway in Glasgow, Scotland.

"Clockwork Orange" was a nickname for the Dutch national football team in the early 1970s.

Wendy Carlos's Complete Original Score

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