Alex: What we were after now was the old surprise visit. That was a real kick and good for laughs and lashings of the old ultraviolent.
"Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven."
A Clockwork Orange is the classic adaption of Anthony Burgess's question raising book. Stanley Kubrick doesn't quite go the same way that Burgess did, but both the book and the movie give different answers to the same question. Kubrick deciding to change the ending doesn't take away from how amazing the film is; that is unless you're Anthony Burgess(He didn't care for it one bit). Burgess wanted the reader to go away with the belief that a human beings are good, and can change their behavior. Kubrick decided to give us a much grimmer theme, that when given the choice, a bad person will choose bad over good every time.
With the character we are given, I think Kubrick's decision is a wise one. There are people in the world that will never change their behavior. Alex DeLarge is one of those people. Alex's behavior is sociopathic. He has no sympathy for what he does, but can lie his way out of things. He can con people. He isn't someone that if given the choice, would change his behavior. Kubrick knows there are people in the world like this and I assume that is why he made the decision to not include Burgess's more optimistic ending.
Alex and his droogs drink "milk plus," then go out and do what Alex loves so much. He gets to perform the old "in out, in out" and the "ultraviolence." They lie their way into a house and severely beat a married couple. It is an extremely brutal and disturbing scene, that is made all the more disturbing by Alex's singing of "Singin' In the Rain." He sings it as he beats the couple and also as he gets ready to rape the woman. The night after this attack, him and his friends again do the same thing at another house. This time Alex doesn't get away, and actually ends up killing the victim. He is sentenced to 14 years in prison for his crime. Once in prison, he volunteers for a new behavior changing experiment.
A Clockwork Orange isn't a film for the faint of heart. It's a movie filled with violence and disturbing imagery, including rapes. It is a portrait of deranged young man, that is played flawlessly by Malcolm McDowell. For some, it may be too much. It is a pretty misunderstood movie though, even by a lot of people who like it. It isn't so much about the man or the violence. Should a man be given the choice to choose between right and wrong? God thought so, so why should we think any differently? And can bad men ever change, or will they stay evil until they die?
The issue of whether Alex should have the choice between right and wrong is really well done. The argument is shown between the chaplain and the experiment leader. The chaplain argues that if Alex doesn't have a choice, but is forced to at a certain way, he isn't really a man. The counter argument isn't as though out. It's more along the line of, "Hey, who cares? It works."
Prison Chaplain: Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.