The protagonist is a criminal and rapist who for the bulk of the novel is hard to stand. But, that being said, there is a great deal to learn from who these characters are and the way they all consider the basic themes of free will and control.
Alex is the main character of ‘A Clockwork Orange‘. He also acts as the narrator. Alex is fifteen years old and the leader of a small gang of criminals. They rob and rape during the night and then sometimes attend school. One of his defining features is a commitment to ideals. It doesn’t matter what the ideal is, but one should be fully invested in it. Alex represents the youth of the contemporary moment.
He wears the right clothes and speaks the right language, Nadsat. He’s also a lover of classical music, an interesting juxtaposition that alludes to a deeper level of his personality. The young man compares the aesthetic pleasure of his music to the pleasure he gets from committing acts of violence.
He’s easily manipulated by the government, something that intrudes on his free will, no matter how terrible a human being he was to begin with. He believes that through his violence, he’s able to assert his independence from restrictions. It’s only at the end of the novel that Alex’s character changes independently and for the better.
F. Alexander is an intelligent older man who is the unfortunate victim of a crime perpetrated by Alex and his gang. The group breaks into his home, rapes his wife, and causes her death. They also destroy his manuscript for a book titled A Clockwork Orange.
He’s filled with rage and turns to channel it towards the government. Later, when Alex is released, he seeks shelter at Alexander’s house. There, Alexander considers him another victim of the government. He starts a plan to use Alex as an example of the government’s cruelty. He finally recognizes Alex as one of the men who raped his wife, and he locks him up, forcing him to listen to the music he once loved. Alex escapes, and F. Alexander is locked up.
Many readers may find themselves interested in the dichotomy between the two characters and what the fact they have the same name means.
F. Alexander’s wife and a rape victim. Mrs. Alexander passes away from pneumonia after being attacked by Alex and his gang. Her husband blames her death on Alex.
Minister of the Interior
The Minister of the Interior is a high-ranking government figure who chooses Alex to be subjected to the Ludovico Technique. The Minister wants to implement policies that would allow the government to subject its citizens to any means of control. Stability is his stated goal.
He wants to put into place policies that control criminal behaviour, and it’s through the Ludovico Technique that he hopes to accomplish this. With the criminals brainwashed into a different form of behaviour, the jails will open up, and there will be more space for political dissidents.
Through his character, the author was seeking to remind readers of how socialist leaders disregard the rights and freedoms of their citizens for what they see as the common good.
The Prison Chaplain lives at Alex’s prison, Staja 84F. There, he preaches to the other inmates about morality. He’s a classic case of contrasts, speaking up at times against the Ludovico technique and remaining quiet at others. He has ambitions that force him to act in a certain way. He’s also described as red-faced and drunk.
A behavioural scientist who administers the Ludovico Technique to Alex. He’s sadistic and unpleasant. He’s also completely immune to Alex’s suffering, sometimes laughing in the face of it. It’s his choice to use classical music as a trigger during the sessions, something that offends Alex to the core. But, Brodsky has no respect for it besides its usefulness as a tool.
Another behavioural scientist monitors Alex’s progress through Ludovico’s Technique. He’s just as soulless and cruel as Dr. Brodsky. Dr. Branom doesn’t understand Alex but appears far happier than Brodsky does, smiling and seeming to enjoy his work. His language is often patronizing and irritating while he lectures Alex about what they’re trying to accomplish.
One of the main members of Alex’s gang. He’s big and has a low IQ. When he’s with Alex, he fights with a chain, and it’s due to his actions that Alex is incapacitated and taken into captivity. It’s revealed towards the end of the novel that he’s chosen to become a police officer and that he’s just as violence-prone as he was in his youth.
A member of Alex’s gang. He changes throughout the course of the novel, redeeming himself and becoming a husband in the end. His lifestyle makes Alex envious, inspiring him to achieve the same thing for himself.
Another member of Alex’s gang. He’s smarter than Dim and more ambitious. He takes the lead when the group decides to rebel against Alex. His main goal is to make money, unlike Alex, who is only interested in violence for violence’s sake.
The leader of another gang, one which has a rivalry with Alex’s. He, like Dim, later becomes a police officer. He’s fat, uses a knife to fight, and is thuggish from youth to adulthood. He’s lost weight by the time Alex meets him again at the end of the book.
Pee and em
Alex’s father and others. They are ordinary people with State jobs. They’re afraid of their son and therefore tolerate his criminal activity. They’re weak characters.
P.R. Deltoid is Alex’s corrective adviser, better known as a probation officer. He’s a tired man who is aware of little his job matters and how he isn’t really helping anyone. He’s baffled by Alex’s behaviour.
An old man who spends his time at the library. He’s innocent and accosted by Alex’s gang.
A lodger who comes to live at Alex’s house while he’s incarcerated. He takes over as Pee and em’s son. He hates Alex for the pain he caused his parents and stands up to Alex when his parents are too afraid to.
The head of the prison in which Alex is incarcerated. He doesn’t believe in new treatment methods for prisoners.
A guard at Staja 84F. He hates the prisoners and treats them cruelly.
Who is the protagonist of A Clockwork Orange?
Alex DeLarge, despite his terrible behaviour, is the protagonist of ‘A Clockwork Orange’. He narrates the story and by the time he’s started the Ludovico Treatment, readers should start to feel bad for him and accept him as the protagonist.
Is Alex DeLarge a psychopath or sociopath?
Alex is generally considered to be more of a psychopath than a sociopath. He has an antisocial personality disorder and a disregard for how his actions harm others. In fact, he takes pleasure from acts of violence, seeing it as an art form.
Does Alex change in A Clockwork Orange?
The final chapter, which was removed from some publications, reveals that Alex did indeed change. He renounces violence and becomes a better person.
What is the moral of A Clockwork Orange?
The moral is that all human beings, no matter how cruel and terrible, deserve free will. Alex’s freedom to act on his impulses makes him a human being and this is a right that can’t be taken away.
Who is the antagonist in A Clockwork Orange?
The antagonist is the Minister of the Interior. He’s responsible for implementing the procedure Alex undergoes and has no regard for the way it’s impacting him. He’s more than willing to put totalitarian practices into effect.