A Clockwork orange and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde have many similarities and differences. The structure of ” A clockwork orange” is very organised and together. There are twenty-one chapters in all, three parts, with each part containing seven chapters.
Anthony Burgess used the symbol of the twenty-one chapters to signify that Alex has by the end of the book grown into a mature man, because twenty-one years old is the age at which a boy becomes a man. The book therefore is a journey from youth to adulthood through the eyes of Alex, as in chapter twenty-one he finally leaves his life of crime behind as he says: “perhaps I was getting too old for the sort of jeezny I had been leading brothers”.
The use of seven chapters in each part, signifies the use of the “seven ages of man” from the play “as you like it”, this idea was that mans life was divided up into seven different stages, from birth to death, this could signify, the growing up of Alex, and the dividing of the chapters by three parts could be the different parts of Alex’s’ life which all helped him become an established man, so the three parts could be the three different view points of Alex as three years passed in the novel.
Alex from a small young criminal, in part one: ” Dim yanked out his false zoobies, upper and lower. He threw these to the ground and then I treated them to the old boot crush”, in part two after being put in jail realises that “I am not your little droogie Alex no longer”, and he gets put under the Lodovico technique to be reformed, this technique involving exposing Alex to violence for nearly the whole day, to make him physically sick of it.
Finally in part three he realises that violence was a thing of the past, and gives it up as he has become grown-up. The final chapter of the novel, echo’s the first chapter of the novel, because in the first chapter he is in the Korova milk bar with ” my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim”, but he is a youthful boy.
However in the final chapter, he is in the same position as the first chapter, but “with my three droogs, that is Len, Rick, and Bully”, having matured into a grown man, because as in the first chapter they all go out and let an old man “have one in his toothless rot”, by the final chapter Alex does not partake in the violence, he only watches as he says: ” more and more these days I had been just giving out the orders and standing back to viddy them being carried out”.
The language in the book, at first seems very confusing, and in a sense playful, as Anthony Burgess made up the words from adapted Russian words. This use of “nadsat” gives a more violent sense to the book, because the words make you think harder about them, because otherwise you will not fully understand what’s going on, as seen: “”yarbles” said Dim, sneering, “great bolshy yarbolockos to you””. However the use of Nadsat could also make the violence seem less bad, because the real words are hidden by the nadsat, so the violence does not seem as real.
Nadsat suits perfectly to Alex’s’ character because the nadsat is playful, lively and alive, like a word game. This is just like the youth of ” A clockwork orange”, who were also alive and playful, like youth should be, out to the final hours of day, committing crimes. The nadsat is also to a certain sense clever because it is made up of Russian words, which have been changed a bit, to make them childlike words such as “malchickiwick”. This is also like the youth of “A Clockwork orange”
The novel has been set in an imaginary future, where all things have been changed around, as children control adults; the children have become violent towards older people. The nadsat has become, childlike words but have become used in violence. This suits it perfectly because; Burgess has warped the childlike, playful words into violent words used by the violent youth. The word “heighth” was adapted from a poets poem called ” Satan and his Holy Angels”, which could symbolise that the world has become evil, because of Satan, and his angels are the youth of the novel.
This could be the reason that Burgess made the word “God” into “Bog”. In the final chapter this use of nadsat changes completely, because, the nadsat has become less frequent in normal speech as seen: ” how about a nice yummy glass of something to keep out of the cold, O, Alex”, also the nadsat that is used in the final chapter does not refer to violence as much although violence still goes on it isn’t masked by nadsat as much as seen: “Bully cracked into him er er er, and the other two tripped him and kicked him”, this shows too that Alex has matured from his youth.
The Nadsat in the final chapter therefore is not used in an aggressive manner, like the first chapter, and Alex has become less confident with using it, because he has realised that violence is not the way to go in the world, and so he now uses more mature nadsat. The way that Pete’s wife reacts to nadsat in the final chapter also shows how times have moved on: “” he talks funny, doesn’t he?” said this devotchka, like giggling” This shows that all the youth of the first chapter have abandoned nadsat, as they matured too, as Pete says he is nearly twenty-one.
Pete also describes that Greg, who has become a new friend of Pete’s “runs little parties, you know. Mostly wine cup and word games” The way that Pete now plays word games shows how he still plays with the language of “A clockwork orange”, but instead of through nadsat, through word games. This shows how the old youth of a clockwork orange have gone off the violent language of nadsat.