A Clockwork Orange Reaction

My reaction is to the article named, “Darker Than Any Prison, Hotter Than Any Human Flame”: Punishment, Choice, and Culpability in A Clockwork Orange by Illya Lichtenberg, Howard Lune, and Patrick McManimon, Jr.

One part of the article discusses the movie’s government control of crime compared to the U.S. Unlike the movie, the U.S. crime system cannot be as extreme and uses different methods to remove criminals from society. As stated from the article, Alex and modern criminals must be “banished” from society. The Justice Minister “banished” Alex by conditioning him to be helpless, and the U.S. puts criminals in jail with minimum mandatory sentences. However, the U.S.’s “banishment” is also different because certain offenders, such as felons, are removed from society by not having the right to vote.

The article also discusses Alex’s punishment given by the government compared to the punishment of his victims. According to the government, Alex was “corrected” after the treatment. However, to Alex’s victims, his punishment was not enough for his crimes and they tortured him themselves. In relation, the U.S. prison system is set up to “correct” criminals for their offenses. When prisons became overcrowded, prisons in Florida decided to release non-violent criminals earlier than planned. This caused public outrage and influenced public elections.

I liked the article’s way it related the scenarios from A Clockwork Orange to real-life situations. Although the movie was extreme in depicting a state-controlled correctional treatment, it is still relatable to the U.S. prison system and society as a whole. I was surprised by the topics that were discussed in the article about prison sentences and treatments. Alex thought he was taking the quickest way out of prison by accepting to the treatment, but instead he was allowing himself to become helpless. The U.S. prisons are different; inmates can either do their full prison sentence, or they can volunteer to work in order to possibly be released early.


HTML Version:

PDF Version: http://maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/socio/faculty/docs/Lune/LichtenbergLuneMcManimon.pdf


Leave a comment

Filed under Assignments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s