A CLOCKWORK CLOWN, OR THE CARNIVAL OF VIOLENCE IN A CLOCKWORK ORANGE BY STANLEY KUBRICK
The 1971 film A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick is based on Anthony Burgess’s book of the same title. This is a futuristic story of a teenage villain living in the world ruled by violence in the name of law and order. Alex, the main character, undergoes special treatment (The Ludovico Technique) for the sake of changing his antisocial behavior, which makes the whole novel subversive tract on free will in the modern world
My interpretation of Stanley Kubrick’s film is based on Mikhail Bakhtin’s carnival theory. For Russian philosopher and literary critic this term involves both the sense of reversal and grotesque. Using fi gures derived from Bakhtin’s works, such as caricature, inversion, repetition, seditious laughter, etc., Kubrick draws disturbing image of the world ruled by hypocrisy and violence. Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell), his protagonist, makes an impression of being one of the carnival’s main character – the fool, a figure of diffuse identity impossible to define himself or being ultimately defined.
The process of adaptation of Anthony Burgess’s work seems very hard to conduct because of his revolutionary style and exceptional use of language. I try to indicate parallels between his personal idiom and visual style of Stanley Kubrick’s version.