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Why the title of “A Clockwork orange”?

“A clockwork orange” is a well-known title of a book written by Anthony Burgess, in which was based the famous film with the same title made by Stanley Kubrick.

But everybody who have seen the film or have read the book knows that the title don´t coincide with the content in a literal way… So, what was the origin of the title? Exited a logical reason to put it?

The author of the book gave several explanations in order to clarify the questions above:

– First of all, the author explained that it was an ancient Cockney expression “to be as queer as a clockwork orange”, with means to be “so strange”.

– Another explanation was that the term “orange”, which means the orange fruit, come  from the term orang, meaning “man”. According to this explanation, the meaning of the title will mean “The mechanic man”, making reference to the fact that a man can´t be programmed as a machine.

– The last explanation given was that the term mentioned before makes reference to a city where A. Burguess had lived years before the publication fo the novel.

In the essay “Clockwork Oranges”, A.  Burgess asserts that “this title would be appropriate for a story about the application of Pavlovian or mechanical laws to an organism which, like a fruit, was capable of colour and sweetness”


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