Analyzing Evil: Alex DeLarge From A Clockwork Orange

Analyzing Evil: Alex DeLarge From A Clockwork Orange

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00:00
hello everyone and welcome to the 18th episode of analyzing evil in this video we'll be covering our patron pick for february alex delarge from a clockwork orange we're going to explore both the book and the film in this video and since the film stays relatively faithful to the book at least as far as structure goes i'll be talking about them both simultaneously while pointing out the differences between the two or things in the book that aren't quite as clear in the film a warning to anyone who hasn't seen the film or read the book they are both quite graphic in a number of ways
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and a good chunk of this video will be dedicated to exploring the terrible person alex is and the horrible things he does in that same vein while i'll be talking about these scenes i won't be showing them on screen as they're a little too graphic for youtube now with that out of the way let's explore the wretched mind of alexander delarge let's start by establishing what we can about alex's background and home life at the time of our story alex is 15 years old and living in an alternate version of the year 1980 where the dress is outrageous and life on the streets of england has
01:02
devolved into a sort of dystopian wild west where young thugs run rampant among a sea of sex violence and drugs making the world a dangerous place for those living in it and a harmful place for a person to grow up in he lives in a generic government-made building called municipal flat block 18a where the propaganda-based labor mosaics are covered in graffiti the area is covered in litter and the building itself has been vandalized by young thugs akin to alex in his home are two parents who are anything but they take care of his needs and provide
01:33
a home for him and seem to have a certain amount of care for him but they're largely absent from his life letting alex run rampant without much in the way of discipline or supervision it's likely always been this way to some degree owing to the fact that they're more concerned with their own lives than the upbringing of their son and the fact that they're willingly oblivious to the kind of trouble alex gets in but his parents are also afraid of their son alex is the one who dictates the rules around the house forcing his parents to take sleeping pills at night as he listens to loud music and giving his father dirty looks when he deigns to learn about alex's life
02:04
outside the home it should be noted that he has his own social worker owing to a stint in a correctional school who in the film is rather perverted but not so in the book showing that at least some care for his well-being is expressed although poorly by a sort of stable force in his life but from a mother who doesn't bother much to try and get her son to go to school to a father who's fearful of prying into his son's nightly activities and a son who runs his family's household at the age of 15 we have absent parents fearful of their own son
02:34
who's been influenced heavily by the poisonous atmosphere and culture of his city we may think this would be an easy way to explain why alex is who he is while yes he certainly had strong negative influences on his life and upbringing alex is far and away from being the innocent victim of a corrupt culture and neglectful parents we'll be covering more of the terrible aspects of this dystopian society as we continue but first let's examine who alex is as a person and what he loves that defines him more than anything else beginning with his love of violence alex
03:05
is a person who above everything else is a thoroughly sadistic person his love of violence seems to know no bounds as in the book we get a scene where he assaults an old man returning home from the library and the robbery of the convenience store and beating of its owners the slouses and then from the film and book are the scenes with him assaulting the drunken homeless man he and his droog stumble upon the fight with billy boy and his gang the assault on mr and mrs alexander and the beating and subsequent death of the old woman whose home he breaks into i'd like to note here the difference between the old woman in the book
03:37
and the old woman in the film for those who aren't aware in the book his assault on the woman is arguably more heinous as she's depicted as being quite old and feeble and walks with a cane compared to the fitness guru he stumbles upon in the film assault is assault and murder is murder no matter which way you slice it but in the book this particular scene as well as some others appeared more terrible than it was in the film now we have to also consider that alex doesn't just attack people at random with no warning save for the instance when they're quickly robbing the convenience store in the book
04:08
rather he prefers to taunt and toy with his victims before he does so he chastises the man with his books as dirty making up dirty words and scenes in these books on crystallography as he rifles through them he berates the homeless man as he decries the violence the boys are committing upon him and the state of the world he taunts billy boy and is gang before fighting them and toys with the old woman before he beats her over the head with a statue as they struggle on the floor and he tears up the writings of mr alexander and in the film he dances around and sings singing in the rain before making him watch what
04:39
the boys do to his wife and destroying his home which we'll get to in a moment though we see him attacking mostly fellow thugs and adults i don't think it would be out of the realm of possibility for alex to assault anyone be they child or adult another aspect of alex's sadism that's described quite often in the books is alex's love of the sight of blood we often find him musing on the beauty of blood pouring out of the wounds of his victims showing that it's not only the act that he enjoys but the sight of death and gore as well sadistic both physically and
05:09
psychologically alex is definitely an embodiment of ultra violence and his overt love of violence in all forms as well as the boundaries he's willing to cross to live out his fantasies is nothing short of horrifying on onto his next love the old in-out as he calls it could definitely be a love of both rape and consensual sex as we see in the film but more so it's his love of rape which we see more of in the book in the book we get our first taste of alex's predatory nature when they're robbing the convenience store
05:40
and he gets a look at mrs slouse's breasts and wonder if he should take her right then and there but we get perhaps the most disgusting act of rape alex commits from the scene with the two girls in the music store in the film alex finds two young ladies that appear to be around his age at a music store and takes them home with him to have his way with them in what appears to be a consensual manner but in the book what he does is far more sinister these girls in the book are described as being young pre-teen girls that he takes a liking to and he convinces them to come home with him so he can show them what real music sounds
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like when he gets them home he drugs them rapes and beats them and then sends them on their way i can understand why kubrick didn't incorporate this scene in its totality into the film as it's quite brutal and shocking but i think this scene really drives home how horrible alex is showing he's the kind of reprehensible person who would take advantage of underage girls rather than simply a guy who's taking a couple girls his own age back to his house to have his way with all day then of course is the gang rape of mr alexander's wife which he makes the poor man watch
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a sadistic and reprehensible act that shows to an even greater extent alex's desire to torment his victims and watch them suffer to a lesser degree than violence and rape alex also enjoys vandalism theft and crime in general as we see him robbing a store stealing a car and driving recklessly around town with his drugs and destroying the books of the man they encounter on the street as well as the home of the alexanders as they lie on their floor battered and bloodied one thing i'd like to note here is the general public's fear of thugs like alex and his friends
07:12
due to an understaffed police force boys like alex run rampant throughout the streets causing people to fear going out as his parents say and in the book a few old ladies cower in fear as alex and company walk into the duke of new york to have a drink showering the boys with compliments after they buy the ladies drinks and providing them with an alibi after they rob the convenience store an integral part of alex's personality is his domineering and overbearing attitude towards the people around him he successfully cows not only his parents but his friends as well beating both dim and georgie when they
07:43
try to act out their own plot showing us that alex is a commanding bold force and a man who isn't easily put down in submission now finally let's get into the only halfway redeeming love alex has his love of music alex is enraptured and fascinated by classical music going into an almost trance-like state filled with ecstasy as the music hits his ears with a particular fondness for beethoven or ludwig van as he calls him though even this through alex isn't an innocent and admirable quality
08:14
for when alex is listening to his records after a long night of committing violence rape vandalism and theft he enters into a dream world where he imagines in the books committing incredible acts of violence on people like stomping on their faces and gutting them with knives and in the film an image of himself as a vampire with bloody fangs intermixed with the hanging of a woman and scenes of destruction through all of these faults though alex can't be considered unintelligent as he frequently muses on the nature of
08:44
society and his role in it he acknowledges the need for good people in society and laughs at their attempts to understand what causes badness as he says he believes that he's leaving people who choose to do good well alone so why should they bother to interfere with the other side or the other shop as he calls it this intelligence is also displayed in the way he's able to organize and lead his gang and when he's putting on a front during his prison sentence doing his best to act as a model prisoner while still holding his innate desires to commit terrible acts within himself only getting himself into trouble when
09:15
in the book he inflicts the killing blow on a new prisoner who enters his cell that tried to molest him in the night now we need to move on to what happens to alex in the story that very slightly gives us sympathy for him his treatment with the ludovico technique here i'd like to say that the punishment alex is subjected to is cruel and unusual and if this punishment were used on every criminal that would be far beyond unnatural and terrible for society to implement but there's a reason i say that it only very slightly gives us sympathy for alex i think it's important that we ask
09:46
ourselves in alex's case is it as terrible as the things he does to others if you had knowledge of his past crimes and his victims also included yourself your friends or your family would you show him any mercy would i i don't honestly know you're robbing the very essence of a human from somebody by putting them through this technique but alex is a man who commits numerous crimes the most heinous of which are incredibly violent assault and rape which are both the causes of two unintended deaths he definitely deserves punishment and he
10:18
receives it in the form of a prison sentence for one of these crimes however i think these questions are part of one of the great philosophical battles that humanity is constantly engaged in whether or not the punishment fits the crime and to what lengths we should go to to not only deal with these problems but to set an example for others who would potentially commit these crimes the thing is this treatment is part of a problem we have on our hands the world over and that being our infatuation with hiding the problem rather than solving it as we see in this case
10:48
where in the end we find out that this treatment is far from effective and serves to only stifle the problem that is alex's behavior and nature rather than perhaps attempting to rehabilitate him or punish him in a different way to solve it it's honestly up to perspective on this one i think this is where i'll leave it up to the input of others let's hear your thoughts on alex's crimes and the ludovico technique down in the comment section to expand on the ineffectiveness of this technique throughout the entire time he's under the influence of the technique his desire to rape and murder is only
11:19
suppressed just below the surface and given the chance he would have lashed out at the various government officials throughout the process the actors who torment him on stage his parents who have taken on a lodger and his friends who end up beating him severely a slap in the face to a man who's confronted with the people who were complicit in his own crimes but were seemingly rewarded for committing them rather than being punished when he later finds himself confronted with a man who we've taken everything from he feels no remorse here either rather he only feels the effects of the sickness that has been inflicted upon him by the state
11:50
and at the end he doesn't think twice about the fate of mr alexander who has been marked as insane for wanting to kill the man who had taken everything from him lastly i'd like to comment once again on the nature of the society around him and the fact that while alex may be a terrible person those around him including the authorities are far from innocent alex ends up being neglected beaten spat upon and tormented by the very institutions that should be held responsible for enforcing the practices and laws that keep our society from
12:20
devolving into an extremely violent and morally reprehensible state the utter depravity of this society as a whole is best seen when the people who are watching alex get tormented on the stage once he's completed his technique laugh and applaud as he's kicked around and tormented by the actors enjoying the display they're given it's more than fair to say that the state and the people running this society are just as morally bankrupt as alex himself and the way they attempt a better society by stifling human nature rather than providing adequate rehabilitation and solutions to improve
12:51
their society is telling of a world that is dominated by the intensely corrupt and authoritarian now something that people aren't always too keen on that needs to be mentioned was neither included in the american release of the novel nor the film and that's the original ending of the book in the last chapter alex has resumed his life as a thug and has found new drugs to take under his wing he appears to have gone back to his old ways but as the chapter continues alex admits that he no longer feels the same way about committing crimes no longer getting that intense thrill
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from the actions he takes alex muses on his love of music turning into a love of more romantic songs and he imagines himself as an old man sitting by a fire drinking tea as he walks into a tea and coffee shop there he meets a reformed pete who was put aside his life as a scandalous droog and found himself a wife through his interaction with pete alex concludes that he may be growing up and his time spent as a thug was just another part of being a youth he decides that he's going to be like pete and settle down he muses that perhaps he was in a cycle
13:52
and if he had a son he too would become like him and continue the cycle of violence and he would be powerless to prevent it this ending is often panned by critics the world over and i can see why for me the reason it seems so out of place is because there's no real build up to this conclusion alex shows little to no remorse for his actions throughout the entire novel then within the span of a few pages we're given a happy ending so to speak however it's not uncommon for people to come to a realization one day that what they've been doing is terrible
14:22
and when they look back on their life with a new perspective they have a quick change of heart so while this ending is quite abrupt it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility so what do all of these things make alex delarge even with this ending in mind alex is best described as a sadistic sociopath and while he lives in a world of crime violence and corrupt institutions he holds within him a desire to commit terribly heinous crimes to satisfy his own twisted urges without regard for anyone other than himself while it may be more common for people
14:52
to act in this way in the world of a clockwork orange and alex's worst impulses were nurtured rather than corrected it certainly can't be considered the norm and alex likely would have been this way whether the world around him was as terrible as he is on the inside or not he's a character that's so utterly reprehensible that even after he's had a moment of clarity where he realizes the fun has run its course and he should start acting right his crimes still shine through to paint him as nothing short of a monster whose very existence up until this point
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was consumed by ultra violence and he's a man whose every action and very being reeks of evil thank you for tuning in to this episode of analyzing evil and i hope you enjoyed what are your thoughts on alex feel free to let us know down in the comment section and feel free to leave a suggestion for a villain you'd like to see featured in a future episode while you're at it if you liked this video give it a like and if you want to see more episodes appearing in your feed hit the subscribe button to ensure you don't miss out on any new episodes a big thank you to all my subscribers as
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