clockwork orange

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For a concordance of words used in the novel A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess, see Appendix:A Clockwork Orange.


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From the novel A Clockwork Orange (1962) by Anthony Burgess, in which the main character is programmed to be incapable of antisocial behavior.


clockwork orange (plural clockwork oranges)

  1. A person or organism with a mechanistic morality or lack of free will.
    • 1996: Mark Dery, Escape Velocity
      Contrarily, he may be saying, “Look what your computerized, commodified society has made of me—a clockwork orange, for all appearances organic but mechanical."
    • 1998: Patrick Brantlinger, The Reading Lesson: The Threat of Mass Literacy in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction
      The telos of the pathologization of crime is the perfected robot or “clockwork orange” of present-day behaviorism and sociobiology, descendants of eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century asociationists like Jeremy Bentham.
    • 1999: Diederik Aerts, Jan Broekaert, Ernest Mathijs, Einstein Meets Magritte: An Interdisciplinary Reflection: The White Book of "Einstein Meets Magritte
      This one took reality to be a large machine, a ‘clockwork orange', an automaton.
    • 2004: Enoch Brater, Arthur Miller's America: Theater and Culture in a Time of Change
      Under the archbishop's ceiling, the self is not a clockwork orange programmed by the state but something more unnerving: Peer Gynt's onion, layers of performance without a core.

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