.. wards the opposite sex. Therefore, Alex doesn’t view his snake as an equal, but as a greater being capable of becoming a close friend and a security blanket. The snake is also used in many different cultures to represent the evil and hate that man kind dwells on. When something evil happens, culture blames all of it’s fears upon the snake, the idol of fear.
The love that Alex feels for his snake could fall under the love of understanding. With this love, Alex feels that he can relate to his snake, and to what society views the snake as. Alex finds the snake to represent sin and the hate that spawned the world as we know it today. In Genesis, the serpent convinced eve to disobey her god and to eat an apple from the tree of life, thus causing man to not be eternal, and for woman’s childbirth to be complex and painful. In Christianity, the snake is the originator of sin. Alex feels that he is the modern bringer of sin.
Alex often finds himself in many situations where he is surrounded with scenes of graphic sex or some sort of phallic reference. After a night of Ultra-Violence, Alex and his droogs find themselves relaxing at the Karova Milk Bar drinking Milk Plus, Milk Plus Dreminol, and Milk Plus Synthemesc. The bar is adorned with images and sculptures of naked women in various positions of sexual encounters, all of which with exaggerated colors and lengths of fluffy hair. This corresponds with Harlow’s experiments with monkey babies finding comfort in soft items in times of distress. Alex finds comfort in the fluffy hair and softness of the environment of the bar. When he has committed an act of distressing nature, be it violence or everyday normal occurrences, he retreats to Karova to bring him a feeling of warmth, satisfaction, and justification of his previous deeds.
This form of relaxation is common from children of broken homes. Freud believes that the self-image within a man is shaped in the first 5 years of life. With the response that Alex’s parents give to him in his home-life, it is obvious that they did not offer much love to the growing child. By Freud’s belief, if the child does not receive the proper love from a mother that it should, it will find other means to replace the comfort that a mother provides. Alex’s comfort was the violence and the pleasure brought from a night completed. There is no reference in the movie about Alex’s parents being his natural born parents, or if one of them died and remarried.
My beliefs are that Alex’s natural born mother was beaten and eventually left his father. Alex was in the middle of this action, and like Bandura’s findings, the child imitates the action that he views and takes it as natural, thus using it in everyday life. Alex’s aggression upon society are truly the natural urges and feelings that he experiences, thus making him normal, being unaware of the wrongs that his violence induces. In a Freudian aspect, this could explain a vast majority of his aggression that he displays. His actions interpret his hatred towards his father for being the reason he lacks a parental security blanket. As quoted in one of the first few scenes: ..
and in the mess of wobbly chaos the drunken old malchek had found himself lying in, he had managed to be able to push out an ugly lyric or two. Now, the one thing that I truly hate in the world is a drunken old malchek singing out the songs of his father with an occasional blurp,blurp in between., this shows his loath for 1) Disrespect for music. 2) Drunks, and 3) Men in his fathers image. The music was his salvation, for it could snap him in and out of his dementia. The music was used in a pseudo-Pavlov experiment to eliminate Alex’s love for violence.
In the experiment, Alex ingested a serum that would induce a deathlike paralysis. While the serum was taking effect, he was bombarded with sights of violence and the sweet sounds of Ludwig Van Beethoven, both leaving an impression in his psyche, relating the sickness to the sights and sounds that he was subjected to. In Pavlov’s experiments, his major goal was to prove that he could train a subject to give a conditioned response with no reinforcement. This was accomplished by training a dog to salivate when he heard a bell ring. The dog was use to the sound of a ringing bell before receiving his food. Eventually, Pavlov removed the food from the experiment, but the dog retained the conditioned response of salivating whenever he heard the bell ring.
Thus a conditioned response without positive nor negative reinforcement. Alex’s conditioned response was to fall to the sickness when subjected to Beethoven. With the sickness being the conditioned response, there is no Reinforcement because the sounds of Beethoven were not intentional, thus not needing reinforcement. However, Alex’s trauma could also be referred to as a Skinner approach to treatment. Skinner’s theory was that one could achieve a conditioned response by giving the subject positive or negative reinforcement. In his experiments, a mouse was put in a cage with nothing but a pressable button and a light.
When the bar was depressed, the light flashed and food was delivered into the cage. If the mouse were dropped into a similar cage, it would be safe to assume that it would retain the reaction to hit a bar and receive food. The conditioned response was to hit the bar when hungry. The reinforcement was the food that was provided by completing the response. In Alex’s case, the reinforcement would be the metal satisfaction of not going through with his violent needs when he is subjected to violent surroundings. In conclusion, the theories used as a basis behind Stanley Kubrik’s A Clockwork Orange, resemble that of the theories that came from the greater thinkers of modern time.
Alex, the guinea pig in this tale, is a classic example of many psychologist’s case studies, and could be analyzed differently from each. Arts Essays.