Viddying this post moodge subject and A Clockwork Orange odin can’t help but viddy the govoreet of the rabbit and think that this construction of a govoreet is a means of constructing the self.  The idea of choice surfaces in the gulliver reflecting the text that declares “when a [moodge] cannot choose he ceases to be a [moodge]” (93) and odin thinks that Malenky Alex was more of a moodge when he chose to conform in govoreet and dress than when the orange was broken and put back together as it once was.  When Malenky Alex chose to rape and pillage he was making a choice between dobby and evil but when his mozg was put back there just didn’t seem to be any choice in the matter.  And then? And then? And then? Malenky Alex suddenly has the impulse to shive out a picture of a baby and “realize” that he’s growing up and that everything he did his malenky malchick will do. And then, all horrorshow like, the messel of Burgess’ high golossing on the moral lesson of the text and it being “too didactic to be artistic” (XIV) gets odin thinking this Clockwork Orange could be a Bildungsroman.  Between Burgess’ goloss and showing off his twenty-first chapter, our hero Alex travels through elements of the Bildungsroman but misses a klootch point of the genre and that point is self-growth.  A Clockwork Orange may appear to meet the criteria of the Bildungsroman as outlined by Jerome Buckley in his book Season of Youth: The Bildungsroman from Dickens to Golding but an essential quality is missing in Alex, regret.  While it’s healthy to live a jeezny and smot back upon it without regret Alex does not regret his actions as a malchick, he viddies them as ordinary nadsat behavior that he expects his own malenky malchick to repeat.  Being molodoy and foolish is odin veshch but murdering and raping and smottovat back on his raz as a nadsat with like nostalgia is not a demonstration that the subject has intellectually grown in character.  Alex’s growth from a nadsat to an adult who no longer desires to itty out late at nochy oobivatting, crasting and raping is no more zammechat than the raskazz of a dog that can no longer retrieve because its legs are full of arthritis.  Consequently, A Clockwork Orange is no more a Bildungsroman than it is a tale of a molodoy moodge growing up and growing out of a phase of his jeezny.

The govoreet of A Clockwork Orange and the creation of the self might appear to lend creditability to Alex being a creature in the process of a Bildungsroman if nadsat is interpreted as an artistic expression of sensibility.  However, nadsat is not a govoreet created by Alex. Nadsat is the govoreet of nadsats within A Clockwork Orange and therefore falls into a category of being nothing more than an adolescent “phase” that every generation itties through.  If odin wrote a novel about a molodoy moodge growing up between 1970 and 1980 and included dialogue such as, “I kopat that groovy funk” the govoreet of the novel, as used by the molodoy moodge, would not meet the criteria of a Bildungsroman nor the reveal the molodoy moodge as being particularly artistic.  In fact, Alex’s use of nadsat mestoes him in the role of a conformist to his generation rather than setting him apart as odin attempting to create himself through govoreet.  Malenky Alex’s love of classical music, his shilarny with like smot and his desire to educate, albeit through ultra-violence establish him as a sensitive malchick and could mesto him into the category of the hero within the Bildungsroman.

Malenky Alex’s journey through the characteristics of the Bildungsroman are metaphorical rather than literal such as in a text like Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.  The city that he grows up in doesn’t appear to be a large city and because the country is so close a yeckate it’s likely that it would fit the “provincial town” description set forth by Buckley. Alex does not find “constraints, social and intellectual, placed upon the free imagination” as described by Buckley, in the town in which he jeeznies but rather these elements enter into Alex’s jeezny when he is itties to prison and it is the prison that serves as Alex’s “city” to which he escapes and is “educated.” Alex’s initial experience of urban jeezny is as odin who makes the rules, as a predator, only after he is modified does he experience urban jeezny differently and then, although he is a victim, he is a victim as a result of his previous behavior. His experience in prison is a substitute for the “urban jeezny” experience because prison has its own society that is made up of chellovecks like Alex and it is within prison that Alex learns the art of deception in order to facilitate his skorry release from prison as horrorshow as lighten his rabbit load within prison and bring pleasure to himself, in the form of classical music (Burgess 88-90).

The critical failing within A Clockwork Orange that reveals that the novel is not a Bildungsroman is the lack of psychological and moral development of Malenky Alex.  Prior to prison Alex’s narrative tone is odin of nostalgia and his reference to the reader is typically odin in which he refers to the reader as his droog, bratty or comrade of sorts.  However, narrative tone aside, malenky Alex damns himself as not being reformed when his narrative presence changes from telling his raskazz to commenting, as the narrator, on the past from his present, “I couldn’t help a bit of disappointment at things as they were those days. Nothing to fight against really. Everything as easy as kiss-my-sharries.” (15)  Alex, as narrator, is not expressing to the reader his feelings at the raz of the raskazz but is smottovat back on that raz as the narrator lamenting the ease at which he was able to commit his crimes and nazz the police.  His statement that there was “nothing to drat against” is a comment that reflects that period of raz in his jeezny in addition to his present situation, ookadetted unknown to the reader.  As a nadsat malenky Alex had nothing to drat against which would have made his jeezny more interessovatting and as an older moodge “he has nothing to drat against” because he has grown up, he has matured in age but he has not developed morally or psychologically.  Furthermore, when malenky Alex enters prison the narrator declares, “this is the real weepy and like tragic part of the raskazz nachinatovat, my bratties and only droogs, in Staja” (85) revealing that the narrator does not recognize his previous behavior to be wrong or tragic but his incarceration he deems tragic as it is the nachinatovat of the end of his nadsat and “innocence.”  Additionally, malenky Alex’s declaration that all of his murdering, crasting and raping was because “[he] was molodoy” (212) reveals that he believes his condition was a matter of nadsat and nothing more than a phase that his own malenky malchick will itty through (211) just as he had.  Finally, the narrator’s last comment to the reader to “remember sometimes thy little Alex that was” (212) reveals that the narrator longs for the days of when he was a nadsat and that his jeezny now as an older chelloveck is not the jeezny that he would like to remember.

A Clockwork Orange is a book that tells the raskazz of a ultra-violence “inherent” in nadsat and it is this ultra-violence in nadsat that is:

[odin] of these malenky toys you viddy being sold in the streets, like malenky chellovecks made out of tin and with like a spring inside and then a winding handle on the outside and you wind it up grrr grrr grrr and off it itties, like goolying, O my bratties. But it itties in a straight line and bangs straight into veshches bang bang and it cannot help what it is doing. Being molodoy is like being like odin of these malenky machines. (211)

Burgess claims, in his introduction to A Clockwork Orange, “people [prefer] the film [to the book] because they are scared…of language.”  (XIV) I choose to write this analysis utilizing Nadsat first and foremost because Burgess created this language to “get in the way” and “muffle…the raw response…we [get] from pornography.”  In other words, as Burgess confesses in his introduction, he did not have the courage to write the scenes depicting rape and murder without a buffer that could distort the reader’s understanding of the events that were taking place within the novel.  Through the use of Nadsat within an analytical work I hoped to break the barrier that Burgess established when he created the language.  The process of writing an analytical piece that would translate into Nadsat while still maintaining the structure of analysis involved an approach to writing that required an understanding of Nadsat, that is, which words in English would translate into Nadsat and then composing the text in such a way as to lose a minimal amount of critical understanding.  In order to have reached the aforementioned approach I first experimented with writing in a slightly more poetic style similar to prose poetry but this style did not suit an analytical work.  My second approach to writing this analysis involved a combination of prose poetry surrounding analytical ideas and this morphed into the approach I finally decided upon.  The “rough draft” translation of this analysis was done using a Nadsat translator found in my works cited list.  However, I quickly discovered the limits of the translator and finalized the analysis through my own manual translation using a Nadsat glossary.  The second reason why I choose to write this analysis in Nadsat was to reflect the post human context of the novel with an analytical approach. Finally I choose to write this analysis in Nadsat because of the challenge.


Works Cited

Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1986.

Nadsat translator