What's It Going To Be Then, Eh? Youth Violence, Free Will, and the Creative Cycle in A Clockwork Orange
Evans, Cynthia Louise
University of Kansas
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This thesis chronicles the development of a contemporary scenographic design for the stage of Anthony Burgess' novel, A Clockwork Orange, based on his original novel and including the 21st chapter, which has been omitted from editions published in the United States prior to 1986 and Stanley Kubrick's 1971 movie. Expressionistic style and scale support the original resolve of the author to question societal interference with individual free will. Burgess's novel, stage script, notations, additional writings and interviews were employed to determine author intent. Substantially different from the impact of Kubrick's film, Burgess envisioned Alex's transformation into an adult, stemming from personal experience and the freedom to choose. 20th Century Expressionistic art inspired large, industrial scale surroundings as a mechanical background for the very human, emotionally charged subject matter of the story. They hint at a far-reaching, self-assured state, ominously watching over all. Splashes of color represent the life that humans (the Oranges) bring to this environment (the Clockwork) and were also borrowed from Graphic Expressionism. Alex and his gangs' violent actions are exposed stylistically and potently without the voyeuristic distraction of bloody, realistic detail which are not the focus of Burgess' story. Separating from the well-known classic film and the oft-banned edition of the novel with only 20 chapters, this production presents Anthony Burgess' originally intended tale of "the danger of stifling free will and the creative urge for the sake of obedience to the State." (http://www.anthonyburgess.org/)
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