A Clockwork Orange: Waiting for the Sun
A Clockwork Orange: Waiting for the Sun by UNCola – The Burning Platform
Society should not do the wrong thing for the right reason, even though it frequently does the right thing for the wrong reason.
History has shown us what happens when you try to make society too civilized, or do too good a job of eliminating undesirable elements. It also shows the tragic fallacy in the belief that the destruction of democratic institutions will cause better ones to arise in their place.
An obscure Texas political consultant named Bill Miller once said “politics is show business for ugly people”. It’s true for the most part, aside from the consequences. This is because the theatrics of politicians result in policies that affect the lives of others; often against the will of the governed. In books and movies, however, the characters are much ado about nothing. Until, that is, life imitates art.
So it is with the futuristic dystopian story of “A Clockwork Orange”. Both the book, by the author Anthony Burgess, and the film by director Stanley Kubrick, serve as moral dilemmas and cautionary tales plumbing such considerations as free will, the duality of mankind, societal anarchy, and the ascendancy of an all-powerful state.
A 1973 review written in Sight and Sound Magazine, stated: “Kubrick has appropriated theme, character, narrative and dialogue from Anthony Burgess’ novel, but the film is more than a literal translation of a construct of language into dramatic-visual form”. Therefore, for that reason, and for others described later, the film will remain this article’s primary focus.
As any perfunctory internet research will show, Stanley Kubrick is known as a visionary artist and director, but also as the subject of multiple conspiracies. In addition to A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick’s oeuvre includes avant-garde films such as Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, 2001 A Space Odyssey, and Eyes Wide Shut; to name a few. Just as these movies demonstrate the inner workings of mankind operating through the disparate threads which bind reality, so do some claim that a larger picture is presented as well. The big picture, of course, is said to include conspiratorial clues and undertonesin Kubrick’s films ranging from Freemasonry, to America’s alleged faked moon landing, to an occultist global financial elite, and the terrorist attacks of 911 being planned as a world transformational event.
There exist multiple published writings, both online and in print, describing the secret meanings hidden in Kubrick’s movies. Furthermore, it has been argued that Kubrick’s “somewhat surreal films” appeal to the viewer’s subconscious and, therefore, “lend themselves to this sort of interpretation”.
That is another reason why Kubrick’s film will remain the focus of this essay, as opposed to the novel: Either these alleged conspiracies are imagined in the minds of the viewers, or Kubrick deliberately inserted these elements into his creations. Given Kubrick’s reputation for perfectionism, one can only conclude the symbolism was specifically placed and for exact reasons.
For example, in Kubrick’s The Shining, there are those who contend it is “laden with symbolism, hidden messages”, and “conspiracy theories”. In Eyes Wide Shut, some contend it was meant to reveal secret societies and sex-magic by means of “evidence” which includes occult symbolism and references to Ishtar, the ancient Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war and sex.
In his other films, like 2001 A Space Odyssey, it has been argued the strategic placement of the sun, or other circular lights, were utilized by Kubrick as symbolic movie projectors of sorts, whereby time and events unwind before the audience like a clock. Additionally, even in movies not directed by Kubrick, there are those who say mirrors are used to demonstrate mind control. It is a fact both of these visualizations are present in A Clockwork Orange.
Once again, and for all of the reasons delineated heretofore, the following presentation will analyze Kubrick’s film as opposed to the novel from which it derived. The story, and Kubrick’s alchemy, will then be analyzed through the lens of three separate realities followed by some concluding comments at the very end.
In Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, the viewers witness the tragic life and circumstances of a teenager named Alex DeLarge navigating a decadent post-modern world. In the film, Alex is played by the actor Malcolm McDowell. The story unfolds against the backdrop of a futuristic dystopian society that has descended into anarchy and violence; especially within the younger generation.
The very first scene focuses on the evil-eyed Alex adorned with a black fedora and sunray eyeliner beneath his right eye. As the camera pulls back, the boy is shown with three of his young friends identified in the narrative as “droogs”. The youths are shown sitting in the Korova Milk Bar where they imbibe “Milk Plus”; or milk laced with recreational drugs of various types.
Upon leaving the bar, the boys come across a drunk lying in an alley and singing what Alex calls the songs of the drunk man’s “fathers”. This implies a line of separation between the previous time and the new; between the old and the young. This separation of time is actually confirmed when the drunk tells the young hooligans he no longer wants to live in this “stinking world” because there’s “no law and order anymore”, where the young “get onto the old”, and “it’s no world for an old man any longer”.