Focusing On a Clockwork Orange and Frankenstein compare some of the ways authors explore the idea of what it means to be an outcast. Within both A clockwork orange and Frankenstein many themes and motifs are highlighted and in many cases aid to construct the structure of the two novels. One aspect of these motifs is the idealism of an outcast. This is structured differently however in both novels and is explored in both similar and different ways.
Because an outcast is defined as a person who is not accepted in society or a group, It is quite easy to portray this in both novels because of the fact people can become outcasts because of their beliefs, the differences in appearance and possibly because of a group of different people it is a common factor amongst all societies, it is possibly a sign of fear or maybe even variation in levels of racism or acceptance criteria into society.
People often create outcasts because of the inability to work around either differences or the naivety or better suited the ignorance of individuality; these are all active in both A Clockwork Orange and Frankenstein.
Starting with an analysis of Frankenstein and continuing to compare with A Clockwork Orange the ideas of an outcast shall be discussed thoroughly from multiple viewpoints so to access the methods used by the authors. Victor Frankenstein is technically an outcast, in the relationship between him and the monster, because of the way he created a monstrosity who has to suffer with being an outcast himself.
He may have refused to create a mate for the monster because, like himself, the monster has no-one else and by creating a female for the monster would leave him as the remaining character in the novel that is not accepted. However it is not society that doesn’t accept Victor, instead it’s himself and the alienation that he has created, not purposely obviously, but created nevertheless, when he made the monster that has killed family members and driven friends to their death also.
This is quite a key point in the novel, Shelley, who has often been found to hide many motifs and symbolisms amongst the lines of Frankenstein, has included, the point being that not all of the outcasts in the world are outcasts because of social reasons, she possibly felt this after losing a child, she may have felt she had no-one to share the horror with and put pen to paper with this emotion enclosing it within Victor’s dark secret of creating a monster, who has the possibilities of overpowering and killing any human being, but Victor is so ashamed of this monstrosity he had created that the secret must remain hidden to the world, possibly a parallel of Shelley, who could have been ashamed by the fact that she was unable to mother the child she lost.
In comparison to clockwork orange however the idea of an outcast is very much symbolised by society and the norms and stereotypes of the government in the novel. This is very similar to the segregation of Frankenstein’s Monster, despite the fact that Alex’s options were carried out by choice and the Monster couldn’t help its appearance, society in general decided amongst itself that this was the wrong way to be and created methods of exclusion so to keep the bliss and peace in society. Alex being sent to prison was a way to improve the quickly decreasing safety and standards of life in the public sector, with his ‘gang’ being separated and later it is shown they are converted to help the government, a completely totalitarian state, and improve things in that society.
This dramatically shows an idea of an outcast in Alex, who after being in charge of his ‘droogs’ at one time has been thrown violently from his perch of superiority and almost tyrannical charge and into a stat where he is being fully controlled beyond his free-will. Although the same doesn’t quite appear in Frankenstein, the monster has to redevelop into his own segregated world to cope without coming into human contact, this being explained and shown in the setting of his speech with Victor, he has to escape to the tundra wilderness to be happy within himself, which coincidentally is where Victor has chosen to use as his peaceful place so he can contemplate his grave error without the distraction of society.
The monster distinctively says, “I heard about the slothful Asiatics; of the stupendous genius and mental activity of the Grecians; of the wars and wonderful virtue of the early Romans-of their subsequent degenerating-of the decline of that mighty empire; of chivalry, Christianity, and kings. ” This shows his education of society, a possible trait picked from his ‘hybrid’ brain, or the backseat view of society and the need to understand a society to fit in, it enhances the Monster’s knowledge of his own expulsion from society because he doesn’t fit into the mould of such a society and never will be able too. Another similarity in both novels, linked to, possibly, being an outcast is the violence, or ‘ultraviolence’ used in both books.
Could it be that the authors have shown an understanding that being strewn from society creates extreme angst and anger to those who have thrown you from the crowds? Alex and his ‘droogs’ and the Monster have very distinct roles on this. Starting with A clockwork orange, Alex and his ‘droogs’ tend to ‘bully’ weaker people in society, possibly the ones who have excluded them, or possibly just a weak way to fight back. Because of the collapse of true authority in society towards the beginning of the book, the gang is able to wreak havoc and evidently have done so in the past and have been punished, with Alex being place in the watch of P. R Deltoid, his corrective adviser.
So a segregation from normal society to his corrective establishment and placing Alex in a state of being observed may have created a fury and anger in him, with his power over the ‘droogs’ initially allowing them to be under his control, he tries to vent his rages with society amongst those who see his behavior as wrong. This eventually leads to his arrest as his ‘droogs’ no longer feel the need to be controlled by him and set him up to be arrested, this frees them from crime if they choose and also creates a divide in two possible ways between them and Alex as he is now imprisoned and they have lost a bond of trust and friendship which was snapped In the betrayal of the leader.
In comparison and slightly contrasting, the monster in Frankenstein was created as an ‘ugly’ being, being abandoned temporarily in its first moments of life must have created some confusion, later transformed by understanding to anger, which creates the instant idea of violence as a possible outlet, which obviously it is, when William gets killed. Now, this may have been the reason for William’s death, but could the exclusion of society because of the Monster’s appearance have contributed further to his angst, being misunderstood by society and shunned into hiding has seen thoughts of a possible good, loving nature turned into a murderous revenge – seeking train of thought.
Obviously his outcast in this manner is down to Victor creating a single ugly being so automatically becoming an outcast because of the bespoke nature of the being but also due to the fear of a different being in society or possibly a level of racism where a being not wanted in society will be made to abandon society as a means of survival. In conclusion, the authors of both A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess – and Frankenstein – Mary Shelley have don e well in concealing the ideas of an outcast in their novels, using the actions of the characters and knowledge of systematic psychological and sociological emotions the ideas of an outcast in the novels were unveiled.