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clockwork orange comparative

            "A Clockwork Orange: Book and Film Comparative Analysis".
             In 1962, Anthony Burgess' novel "A Clockwork Orange" was published for the first time. Full of sex and violence, the novel follows the story of its hoodlum narrator Alex, who terrorizes his city with his teenaged friends until the government catches him and uses psychological conditioning to "cure" him of his violent behavior. In 1971, director Stanley Kubrick turned Burgess' book into an even more erotically violent film, "Clockwork Orange". Kubrick's adaptation is generally the same as Burgess' novel, but a few minor differences and the change of medium ultimately make the film a more shocking and powerful work than the book.
             In the novel, Burgess has Alex speak an odd version of English, which he calls Nadsat. Burgess uses this language extensively in the book's more violent scenes. Breasts are "groodies," policemen are "rozzes," and men are "chellovecks." Alex does not rape women with his friends; he and his "droogs" give "devotchkas" the "old in-out-in-out." The effort of translation forces the reader to distance themselves from the horrific actions described, thinking about the drama rather than experiencing it as pornography. The language reduces the acts and the individuals involved to their basic qualities. Burgess, in his introduction to the 1986 edition, says that, "Nadsat was meant to muffle the raw response we expect from pornography". .
             Burgess' verbal trickery does not affect viewers of Kubrick's film in the same way it does readers of the novel. Although Alex does narrate the story using Nadsat terms in the film, the language does not muffle the violence or eroticism of the scenes. The viewer actually sees the brutal beating of an old man, gang warfare, a sexual act and the rape of several women in the course of the movie. Because film is primarily a visual medium, Burgess' verbal cushion has no effect on the way the audience pictures the violence; Kubrick interprets Burgess' words and throws it on the big screen for all to see.

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