A Clockwork Orange | Analysis 2
Sex, Drugs & Classical Music
Even before I saw “A Clockwork Orange,” I had always wondered why the individual on the cover had a long eyelash on one side, only. I think I may have found the answer, however, we must first look at a few other details before analyzing this.
I want to preface this article by saying that the topic won’t be centered solely around Alex's eyelash. I’ll be touching on several other topics as well, including the second-most interesting symbol in the film, which is the drug-laced milk Alex and his droogs drink to fuel their crimes.
The main character Alexander and his crew have low morals and almost no boundaries when it comes to sexually abusing women. It's quite scary, really, as these children are only supposed to be around the ages of 15.
What are some factors that would make someone hyper-sexual and aggressive at such a young age?
Something that could alter a child's mind and behavior towards women (and sex in general), could be the depiction of women. The artwork featured in this film, for example, is highly sexualized. I believe that when young people are exposed to sex, and the depiction of sex before they're ready, they tend to process that information in way that's easier for them to digest; sometimes that translates into violent expression. If you think about bullies, for example, a good percentage of them are mistreated at home. To cope with being bullied they tend to bully others, or bully themselves. As for Alexander and his crew, general and sexual violence towards others are coping mechanisms for whatever violent and sexual forces they were exposed to. That is, they were exposed to violence and sex before they were old enough to adequately process such concepts.
And what is trauma translated into personal expression without a good soundtrack? Alex uses classical music as a means to help re-envison his despicable crimes; the music, in a sense, has become a part of the perversion.
I believe, however, that the violence becomes a little too overwhelming for Alex, which is why mind-altering substances are needed to better cope. At the start of the film, it's revealed that the milk is laced with "Drencrom." Now, there are a lot of theories as to what "Drencrom" is, but we can gather that the drug is strong enough to alter the mind. It's strong enough to make someone feel invincible. It's strong enough to give someone enough courage to act on their impulse to rob, beat and rape someone. So, Drencrom is what these gang members drink to prepare themselves for a night of "ultraviolence" as Alex calls it. Why would one need such a hard drug to do the things one would want to do in the first place? It begs the question as to whether or not Alex really wanted to commit said crimes.
Coping mechanisms as it pertains to drugs, violence and sex are reoccurring themes throughout this film. And I feel that Alex reconciles his crimes, especially the crimes committed against women, by doing things here and there to convince himself that he doesn't actually hate women. Like being kind to his mother, or staying in touch with his feminine side. Which brings us to Alexander's eyelash.
The long eyelash to me is an extension of Alex's feminine side. It symbolizes his acceptance of his own feminine counterpart, which somehow reconciles or bypasses the hate he has towards women in general. I know this sounds backwards, but Alex isn't a logical character, he's a child. Children do not process things like sex, drugs or violence logically. Children over exaggerate what they see to better cope with trauma, so as to not seem weak (this is especially the case with young boys). Most importantly, children don't understand the very serious repercussions of their actions. And trying to rationalize a child's mind is sometimes like trying to solve a crazy ass puzzle. This is the reason why so many children are neglected, or called "problematic" or are given up on, or institutionalized. Because adults don't understand what's going on with them, or never take the necessary time to understand; we will see this same exact theme later on in the film.