There is a realm where sex, violence, and everything else abhorrent is considered a norm. It’s named A Clockwork Orange. It is a film where deep social and psychological meanings were highlighted in each and every message. A viewer can deconstruct a lot of hidden representations established from the film, since the scenes from the film could, in actual fact; trigger whatever it is that a viewer could co-relate into. I, personally have lots of images to deconstruct from the film. Where to start?
In the opening scene, there was a group of men sitting inside a bar. Obviously, they were drinking nothing but milk. However, this scene implies a deeper picture—the milk symbolizes something. The milk could be associated to infantry. “Everyone at the Korova Milkbar drinks such beverage. Alex, (the main character) drinks milk with almost every meal. Yet, none of the adults seem to be drinking it. This could mean that the milk-drinking teenagers are bunch of babies. Here associated with the naïve and immature, milk is the substance for infants – unsophisticated and helpless” (Shmoop.com). Moreover, there is a need for an infant to drink milk for they are incapable of eating or digesting a solid food at that certain moment of their life. Take note that in the film, Alex and the gang were drinking milk at the bar. This is where the concept of immaturity kicks in. “For the “modern youth” that nurse on the stuff laced with hallucinogens, the explanation is that they are young people who have chosen to add poison to their otherwise innocent slates, making them the evil youth that they are” (Shmoop.com).
In addition, these men were drinking milk and “lady tables” are laid in front of them. These table-like objects were outlined from a female stature, bending in different positions, their body covered with nothing but hair wigs of different colors. In that scene, some of these men were resting their feet in the table while drinking their beverages. Not only that, if you take a look in the image of the whole bar, you can see lots of mannequin-like females that are being tied up, naked, and it seems like somebody is persecuting them. Basically, by just seeing it, one could deconstruct that these image merely portrays the “dominance” of men to women; that women are principally just objects of desire, an object that could bring pleasure to the dominant form of being, the men.
“It communicates a simple factor in the Alex’s (main character) pathology and the pathology of his generation. Women are viewed as sex objects. Zooming out from a close up of Alex, we see two fibre-glass nude women sculpted and positioned as tables, upon which Alex has propped up his feet. Each figure has two wigs, one on the head and one on the pubic area. Zooming further out we find the Korova milk bar is full of these nude woman shaped tables.” (Ager, 2010)
Another thing, the film does not only possess sexual innuendos. It also depicts the concept of inhumanity—the concept of violence against not only one, but both sexes. Portrayals of human physical aggression were established, there are lots of fighting, fisting, killings as well as rape scenes found in several parts on the film. One might say that the concept of killings and rape and human sadism is mainstream, I would rather say yes. However, the manner of depicting violence in the clockwork orange film differs from other typical violent films. For an instance, let’s look at the rape scene consists with five guys inside the old theatre house. Brutality and sadism were established while these guys rip the woman’s cloth apart and forcedly drop her on the floor, wanting to penetrate on her. It is one very alarming scene because despite of the sadistic and cruel images, the music background incorporated in this scene was a very cheerful, lively, classical music.
“A Clockwork Orange challenges traditional ideas about music’s fundamental function, and here music taps into what is most dominant in Alex’s nature: violence. Music connects to Alex’s drives and desires, and stripping him of his ability to enjoy it is equivalent to stripping him of his humanity.” (sparknotes.com) “The Classical composers represent all that is ideal to and sacred for Alex, as these composers have created the highest and purest form of art, and therefore joy, for Alex. The fact that one or more of their compositions almost always accompanies Alex’s perpetrating a certain crime – which he often commits for sheer aesthetics or sensory bliss – also bodes well for our interpretation.” What does the director want to imply by using Beethoven’s classical symphonies? What does the film want to imply when it used lively symphonies be integrated in a tragic picture? Maybe it just wants to depict what the character feels at the moment while doing violent actions. After all, sex in A Clockwork Orange is not an expression of love or intimacy, but rather an exhibition of power and violence.
Generally, sex and physical violence were mostly highlighted in the whole film. However, there are religious interpretations that a viewer can decipher from it as well. Consider this: a painting of a naked woman lying while opening her legs wide open is found in the wall of Alex’s room. Underneath this wall is a live snake, hissing while it is licking the said painting. Underneath this snake lies four statuette of Jesus, not nailed on the cross but wounded, and his private parts were totally exposed. The snake in the room could be implied as the “serpent,” which in more religious sense is associated with Satan. On the other hand, the woman is on top of the serpent but is literally connecting its tongue on the wall. By looking at this image, one could imply that the “serpent” is linked to be doing sinful, at some point, together with the woman. Finally, Jesus in the film being the object under all these other objects— might be ranked as less than those other objects.
In the end, there’s much to recognize in the composition of the film. The artwork expresses sexual desire, but it also strips desire of human intimacy and individuality. “Instead of sex and love cohabiting in representations of the human body, the body in art becomes simply a source of titillation.” The film presents a series of such images particularly in terms on the objectification of women. They are characterized as being less than human: they were represented as mannequins, cartoons, and paintings. The first images are those of the female mannequins in the Korova Milk Bar, set in their sexually provocative poses. Because they lack color and individual features, they suggest cold impersonality. Sexual images of women also hang on the walls of Alex’s parents’ home.
For the most part, these paintings are drab, like Alex’s parents, and resemble paintings one might purchase at a flea market. Their one striking feature is the women’s impressive cleavage. Like the mannequins, these images, too, are at once both sexual and impersonal. The paintings and sculpture in the cat lady’s home are modern and overtly sexual. Some are sadistic, with parts of the paintings depicting bondage and dismembered body parts. Like the cat lady herself, the paintings are bold and confrontational, but, like all the other artistic representations of the human body, they are also flat and impersonal.
All in all, the film could trigger much to the emotional and critical aspects of a viewer. It may affect them, and on how they treat sex and violence in real life. Looking through the whole film, there are countless of scenes and images which were figuratively and literally – portrayed the physical elements of men and women. Some of these images could be considered as a form of art, and some falls into the category of pornography, sex, or violence. It could generate a subconscious act to a certain individual being exposed on the said film. The more you get exposed in these scenes where violence and cruelty is highly prevalent, the more you tend to accept such contents. The more you get to normalize violence. Just so we know, all of these images possess sexual innuendos that awaken the viewer’s individual aspiration for art or rather, stimulate its sexual desires. You get your own choice. I made mine.