A Clockwork Orange

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 4 02:57:09 UTC 2012

Aha! So, it *is* "just a surreal group of words"!

In general, clockwork performs an action or causes an action to be
performed. Since there is no "action," in the relevant sense, WRT an
orange, I'd long wondered what it was that could possibly be the point
of a _clockwork_ orange.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 10:36 PM, Randy Alexander
<strangeguitars at gmail.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Randy Alexander <strangeguitars at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: A Clockwork Orange
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 7:41 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Yes. I fully agree with your comments, Randy. But, don't leave me
>> hanging! WTF *is* the concept that underlies that title?! Perhaps I'm
>> somewhat slow, but _A Clockwork Orange_ remains for me, in your
>> asskickingly-felicitous phrase, "just a surreal group of words."
> I'm assuming here you've seen the movie, so I'll refer to that, while
> filling in the crucial information from the book.
> Alex and his droogs, having stolen a car and driven out into the
> countryside, come upon a cottage labeled "HOME", which is occupied by a
> writer and his wife.  They rape the wife in front of the writer -- this is
> the famous "Singin' in the Rain" scene.
> In the book, (before the violence) Alex picks up some of the writer's
> material and finds that he is working on a book called "A Clockwork
> Orange", from which he reads aloud:
> " -- The attempt to impose upon man, a creature of growth and capable of
> sweetness, to ooze juicily at the last round the bearded lips of God, to
> attempt to impose, I say, laws and conditions appropriate to a mechanical
> creation, against this I raise my sword-pen -- "
> Then later, after getting out of jail and then beaten up in the countryside
> by his former droogs who are now policemen, Alex ends up at the same "HOME"
> to find the writer (not recognizing Alex because when they met the first
> time, Alex was wearing a mask, but recognizing Alex to be the boy who was
> just let out of jail after being "cured" by behavioral manipulation), who
> turns out to be a political activist who wants to use Alex to help
> overthrow the government.  The writer tells Alex "You've sinned, I suppose,
> but your punishment has been out of all proportion.  They have turned you
> into something other than a human being.  You have no power of choice any
> longer.  You are committed to socially acceptable acts, a little machine
> capable only of good."
> So to the writer's delight, Alex has become the very "clockwork orange" he
> raised his sword-pen against.
> --
> Randy Alexander
> Xiamen, China
> Blogs:
> Manchu studies: http://www.sinoglot.com/manchu
> Chinese characters: http://www.sinoglot.com/yuwen
> Language in China (group blog): http://www.sinoglot.com/blog
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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