social satire, behavioural psychology, psychological conditioning; dangerous weapons for a totalitarian government. This is Not a Clockwork Orange, it’s Utopia.

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… the tale was inaccurate. It tells of Burgess, the great linguist, “bellowing Malay at a succession of Malayan waitresses” but “unable to make himself understood”. The source of this tale was a 20-year-old BBC documentary … [The suggestion was] that the director left the scene in, in order to poke fun at the great author. Not so, and I can be sure, as I was that director … The story as seen on television made it clear that Burgess knew that these waitresses were not Malay. It was a Chinese restaurant and Burgess’s point was that the ethnic Chinese had little time for the government-enforced national language, Bahasa Malaysia [Malay]. Burgess may well have had an accent, but he did speak the language; it was the girls in question who did not.

The film’s central moral question is the definition of “goodness” and whether it makes sense to use aversion therapy to stop immoral behaviour.[5] Stanley Kubrick, writing in Saturday Review, described the film as:

A social satire dealing with the question of whether behavioural psychology and psychological conditioning are dangerous new weapons for a totalitarian government to use to impose vast controls on its citizens and turn them into little more than robots.[6]

Similarly, on the film production’s call sheet, Kubrick wrote:

It is a story of the dubious redemption of a teenage delinquent by condition-reflex therapy. It is, at the same time, a running lecture on free-will.

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