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October 1994


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Curtis Wilcox <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 28 Oct 1994 17:47:23 -0900
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>Hate to break it to you, but Anthony Burgess named this movie when he named
>his book (on which the movie is based & probably better than the movie
>jajasoon tlitteu  ([log in to unmask])
Well, it's very good but I think there is less of a "goodness" gap between
the book and film than you typically find in films from books.
I thought the original post about differing interpretations of Alex's
fantasy and "I'm cured." It's rather like the debate between which is
better, the book Clockwork Orange without the final chapter (which Kubrick
worked from and was the American edition) or with the final chapter.
**Spoiler for all those who haven't read it but want to.**
In the last chapter (the 21st I think), time has passed and Alex is getting
tired of the same old things; the Moloko, bit of ultraviolence and the ol'
in-out in-out. He runs into an old droog who has gotten married and settled
down. Alex does some thinking about this and decides to give up his former
ways, as childish things, and pursue more adult things.
I can't recall exactly why the last chapter was removed for the American
edition (it could have been all subsequent editions, I don't know) but I
know that a complaint about it is that Burgess is wimping out with such an
ending. It seems to some like a tacked on happy ending.
Another take on the last chapter is that in showing Alex deciding to become
a law-abiding citizen it makes his behavior so far seem like a normal part
of youth, a phase that young men go through in that (and our) society. A
very disturbing thought indeed.
If I had to pick between them, I'd go with the ending that was used in the
movie. I'd also go with the usual interpretation of Alex's fantasy in the
movie. I guess I'm a traditionalist ;)