Anti-hero on Clockwork Orange and the film Unforgiven

Topics: Human nature, A Clockwork Orange, Protagonist Pages: 2 (811 words) Published: October 18, 2014
An anti-hero is a literary concept with long tradition. The idea of an antithesis to an anti-hero began its first appear in literature as early as in the Greek novel Don Quixote, but the bloom of a modern time anti-hero can be traced back to the period of Romanticism. Through the view of an anti-hero, we are ultimately challenged to look at ourselves and our contemporary world and recognise the complexity of human condition. In Clockwork Orange and Unforgiven, the dichotomist relationship between two protagonists Alex and Will Munny has demonstrated our deeper understanding of the notion of an anti-hero. Alex represents the common men chained by society and their own insignificance and shaped by his world. In abstract, he is just a representation of his world; the “…slot machines…” at the train station symbolises the corruption of contemporary morals and that Alex is just another reflection of this world. Similarly, the subverted motif of milk in the text exposes a dual image of innocence and transgression. Far from being symbols of purity and nurture, “innocent milk” which Alex drinks portrays the child-like act contaminated as an instrument to heighten their inclination for “ultra violence”, furthering the idea that Alex is a product of his environment. In other words, Alex is the inevitable socially and environmentally influenced personality of our nature and our world. Also, Alex shows common traits of anti-hero, the absolute lack of masculinity and heroism through his acts of violence and impotency. His vandalism in the train “…to pass the three minute ride…” suggests that violence is a source of entertainment and amusement in the matters of something as simple and common as time. Even though his brutality and ignorance are immature and despicable, it is also that sense of free rein to his violent impulses which makes him human. When violence is used against him and makes him “good”, it implies that that goodness is inauthentic and only driven by...
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