Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/107743
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Type: Journal article
Title: The end of family in Kubrick's a clockwork orange
Author: McEntee, J.
Citation: Adaptation, 2015; 8(3):321-329
Publisher: Oxford Academic Press
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1755-0637
1755-0645
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Joy McEntee
Abstract: In A Clockwork Orange (A Clockwork Orange . Dir. Stanley Kubrick. UK. 1971), and conspicuously so at the end of the film, Stanley Kubrick reworks his source material so that the masculine protagonist’s self-consciousness about the wrong he does is ultimately denied. Whereas Anthony Burgess’s novel ends with a chapter that sees Alex tiring of his violent ways and yearning for a family, Kubrick’s film excises that episode, and gives its audiences instead an image of Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) escaping into an ecstatic space, free of the three burdens with which Burgess potentially saddles him: repression, conscience and family. Kubrick liberates his protagonist so that he learns to stop worrying and just do what clearly enjoys doing, guilt-free. This paper traces the implications of Kubrick’s choices as an adapter, discussing the ‘gender work’ done by his adaptation. Via the intertext of Anthony Burgess’s ‘polemic’ about Kubrick’s adaptation, as well as feminist criticism, it examines ideas about family and gender, liberation and morality. It interrogates Greg Jenkins’s generalization that Kubrick’s adaptations tend to be more morally conventional than their precursor novels to ask the following questions: ‘Is Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange more morally conventional than Burgess’s novel? Is it amoral? Or is it masculinist?
Keywords: Adaptation; Kubrick; endings; masculinity; feminist; amorality
Rights: © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0030031324
DOI: 10.1093/adaptation/apv007
Appears in Collections:English publications

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