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Flip or Flick: A Clockwork Orange (CW)

original book cover of "A Clockwork Orange"


***Content Warning: Please be advised that this post discusses aspects of A Clockwork Orange, a book and feature film that contain strong elements of sexual assault, torture, and other forms of violence.***


By Allie Reczek

Hello all readers! It is I, Your humble narrator, back with another Flip or Flick, and today I am discussing A Clockwork Orange. Written by Anthony Burgess in 1962, this book is famous for its ingenious and masterful use of language. Spoken in a confusing, mind-twisting slang invented by the main character, Alex, this novel challenges the concept of horrorshow (good) and evil.

In this dystopian universe, a 15 year old boy with a dark and devious mind and a passion for classical music, along with his droogs (friends), wreak havoc on their neighborhood, robbing and assaulting innocent people. After one fatal night and an attack gone wrong, Alex ends up in staja (state jail), staring down a 14 year sentence. A new inmate reformation treatment allows Alex to return to society earlier than expected, however it is not without its dire consequences on his mental stability and outlook on life. Burgess so cleverly makes readers root for the villain and empathize with him, despite knowing full well the destruction and terror Alex causes. This novel challenges the idea of what it means to be “healed” and leaves readers questioning, “What is the cost of salvation?”

The title itself, A Clockwork Orange, does not make much sense at first. However, if one is to look up the translations of Alex’s invented vocabulary, a ‘Clockwork Orange’ is a “mechanically-responsive person”. Through his treatment in prison, Alex becomes a clockwork orange, arguably becoming worse off than he was before. Despite knowing that Alex is a horrid person and a danger to society, one cannot help but feel remorse for him when he is “cured”.

The movie version of A Clockwork Orange, released in 1971, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, brings Anthony Burgess’ masterpiece to life. Viewers can truly witness the dystopian lifestyle of the characters and just how frightening and zammechat (remarkable) this story is. In regard to using the movie as an aid in the overall understanding of the plot, I would say it does a great job in staying true to the storyline of the novel. Because the book can be hard to follow at times, the movie allows for a visual element to enhance and clarify what exactly was happening, despite how graphic it may be. However, from an enjoyment perspective, I enjoyed the novel more. I believe there is a sense of bliss to ignorance and there are certain scenes from this movie that I would rather have left unclear. Just from the first 10 minutes of the movie, I was horrified and quite frightened at what I was witnessing. Despite my opinion, I think cinephiles would better understand and appreciate the context in which the brutality and overwhelming nature of this film is presented.

So, Flip or Flick?

Flip! If you are sensitive to explicit content and prefer to leave some images to the imagination.

Flick! If you want to add a visual component to further enhance the message behind this story. However, it is important you are able to separate the gore from the overall takeaway of A Clockwork Orange and not be bothered by some disturbing content.

Falvey Library owns a DVD copy of A Clockwork Orange as well as several copies and interpretations of the book.  View the full list here.


Allie Reczek headshot

 

Allie Reczek ’22 CLAS is a current senior at Villanova, majoring in Psychology with minors in Communications and Sociology. She works in Falvey Library as a Marketing and Communications Assistant.

 


 


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Cat in the Stax: From the Pages to the Screen

With winter seeming never-ending and spring still feeling like a far-off dream, it’s time to make a new list of movies and TV shows to watch. Below is a list of five books that have been adapted into TV series or movies for 2021. Many of these books are in Falvey’s collection. If you’re like me, you’ll need to read the book before you watch the movie!

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platform: Netflix

Release Date: OUT NOW – Feb 1, 2021

 

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platform: Netflix

Release Date: OUT NOW – Jan 22, 2021

 

The Dig by John Preston

Platform: Netflix

Release Date: OUT NOW – Jan 15, 2021

 

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari

Movie Title: The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Platform: Hulu

Release Date: Feb 26, 2021

 

Cherry by Nico Walker

Platform: Apple TV+

Release Date: Mar 12, 2021


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Flick or Flip: The Handmaid’s Tale

By Allie Reczek

Flick or Flip logo

Welcome to Falvey’s Flick or Flip? My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore undergrad and student worker in the Library. For this blog, I will pick a book that has been turned into a movie, and argue which I thought was better.

This week on Falvey Flick or Flip, I will be discussing The Handmaid’s Tale, written in 1985 by Margaret Atwood. The novel is set in a future dystopian society in which societal roles consist of patriarchal men and subservient women. Offred, the main character, sets out to escape the confines of this life and be reunited with her family. The Republic of Gilead, which is the name of the totalitarian state that takes over after the fall of the United States government, limits the role of many women to “handmaids” who are forced to bear children for barren women and their husbands. Offred is defiant of the new role she has been forced into and works with other handmaids to secretly destroy this toxic government. Throughout the novel, Atwood pushes the boundaries of the human mind, highlighting gender stereotypes and the dangers of technology, leaving readers wondering if we are not that far away from reaching this hypothetical future. 

Rather than a movie adaptation, The Handmaid’s Tale was converted into a TV series on Hulu in 2017. In the first two seasons, the show follows the same storyline, with some changes that take a modern-day approach to this 1980s novel, like the inclusion of an interracial couple and highlighting the fear of expressing same-sex relationships in Gilead. 

While very well-directed and produced, I feel that after the first season I was not as invested in the series as I was reading the book. For anyone who can keep up with a TV series, I highly suggest this show. However, unlike a movie that tells a whole story in less than two hours, I grew bored of the plot line as more episodes were released.

Ultimately, regardless of the format in which you unfold this tale, The Handmaid’s Tale is a story that should not be overlooked. 

So, Flick or Flip?

FLIP


Picture of Allie Reczek

Hi! My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore Psychology Major. I work as a Marketing and Communication Assistant in Falvey. Hope you enjoy this blog! Which flips or flicks should I debate in the future? Message @villanovalibrary on Instagram or tweet us @FalveyLibrary!


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Last Modified: February 14, 2020