“What’s it going to be then, eh?”

GG Dearest,

Mind pretty much blown by A Clockwork Orange.  The weird thing is, nothing in it really connected or meant much to me until the very end, when you realize what the novel is actually all about.  Going into it I thought it was kind of a message about what the future might be like if we’re not careful, but in truth its a coming of age.  Burgess broke the book up into three parts, seven chapters each.  Seven times three, as he points out in the foreward, is 21, the standard legal age when you’re truly considered an adult.  By the end, you fully get the experience of a troubled young man growing up, even though he doesn’t realize at first. 

An interesting thing about the book (besides everything else?) was that it was originally published without the last chapter, which in my opinion ties the entire story together.  The book’s message is so altered by leaving it out, although if Burgess was going for something a bit different I could see that too.  The editor left it out for specific reasons, however, that Burgess explains in the foreward. 

A few times within the story, a character asks, “What’s it going to be then, eh?”  I saw this as another symbol for growing up, where you constantly seem to be asking yourself, “Where the hell am I going from here?”

Woven into the plot, of course, are the questions raised about free will and the choices we have as humans. I won’t give too much away, but you’ll come away with a lot on your mind.  Also I recommend reading the foreward after you’ve read the actual story, because a lot is given away that you shouldn’t know beforehand. (Including why he uses the made-up slang, which I won’t even get into.  Still don’t know what the fuck “grahzny” means.)

One more thing… Alex.  Or as he calls himself, Your Humble Narrator.  Couldn’t really figure him out.  He was pretty whiny most of the time, and at certain points I was just like dude wtf.  But I felt like there was something else to him that I was missing, like he was challenged in a Holden Caulfield kind of way.  Maybe he’s just stupid.  None of the characters went very deep, anyway, except for F. Alexander, another person I haven’t quite gotten a grasp on.  You’ll have to tell me what you think, but I feel like I’m going to be attempting the psychoanalysis of Alex for a while.

And now off to A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, whose name is so particularly odd I’m not quite sure I’m pronouncing it right.

Love always,
GW

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