Classical Conditioning in "A Clockwork Orange".
The movie "A Clockwork Orange" is often described as one of the most disturbing films ever made. My question is what really disturbs them so much about this film, Is it the gratuitous sex and violence transparent throughout most of the film? Or is it the fact that the dark side of society is not to far off from where we are right now? If you simply look at all of the "behavior modification" that goes on in today's modern society, It becomes apparent that we are attempting to control a person's behavior from birth by bombarding them with sounds, visions and sensations that permanently effect their psyche. From the moment we are old enough to understand what such things mean, we are constantly told what is "right," what is "wrong," and what we should say, do, or feel in every situation. How many times is a child needlessly medicated to correct a so-called problem with his behavior. These "problems" can be anything from a short attention span to perceived eating or sleeping disorders. Violent behavior is not a result of a natural born instinct, but rather a habit learned from the constant bombardment of society. Whether you believe that violence is the result of violent images and media itself, or a rebellious act against the society that is trying so hard to curb it and control violent behavior. The classical conditioning shown in the film is a perfect example of how sadistic and cruel it is to attempt to dominate a person's instinct and behavior. There is no way to really understand the long term effects of this kind of conditioning. As seen in the analogy of the boy and the white mouse, we run the risk of not just curbing the infatuation with the mouse, but eventually the small boy becomes terrified of all small white things, leaving him a frightened mentally scarred individual for the rest of his life. There has been an argument made that our current society is running a somewhat reverse classical conditioning on the children.