The Idea of an antithesis to an anti-hero began its first appear in literature as early as in the Greek novel Don Quixote, but the bloom of a modern time anti-hero can be traced back to the period of Romanticism. Through the view of an anti-hero, we are ultimately challenged to look at ourselves and our contemporary world and recognize the complexity of human condition.
In Clockwork Orange and Unforgiving, the dichotomies relationship between two protagonists Alex and Will Mummy has demonstrated our deeper understanding of the notion of an anti-hero. Alex represents the common men chained by society and their own insignificance and shaped by his world. In abstract, he is Just a representation of his world; the “… Slot machines… ” At the train station symbolizes the corruption of contemporary morals and that Alex is Just another reflection of this world. Similarly, the subverted motif of milk in the text exposes a dual Image of Innocence and transgression.
Far from being symbols of purity and nurture, “Innocent milk” which Alex drinks portrays the child-Like act contaminated as an instrument to heighten their inclination for “ultra violence”, furthering the idea hat Alex is a product of his environment. In other words, Alex is the inevitable socially and environmentally influenced personality of our nature and our world. Also, Alex shows common traits of anti-hero, the absolute lack of masculinity and heroism through his acts of violence and impotency.
His vandalism In the train “… To pass the three minute ride… ” Suggests that violence Is a source of entertainment and amusement In the matters of something as simple and common as time. Even though his brutality and ignorance are immature and despicable, it is also that sense of free rein to his violent impulses which makes him human. When violence is used against him and makes him “good”, it implies that that goodness is inauthentic and only driven by deterministic mechanism.
Therefore, Alex illustrates that true goodness comes from within and evil is necessary in being a complete human being. On the other hand, Will Mummy depicts a starkly opposite anti-heroic qualities to Alex but an anti-hero that Is far Innately human condition. The literal metaphor of Will Mummy rolling in mud emphasizes everything he sacrificed to become a decent paternal figure. Likewise, he recognizes and accepts his past morally baseless man that killed … Everything that walks or crawls at one time or another. ” , and thus indicating he is debased of any pretension.
The close shot of Will rejecting a “free one” represents his self-actualization which pervades the film until Will divorces his quest. Throughout the film, his Incessant allusion to his wife as the reason for his arc of change highlights that we as humans are complex, more confusing and more relating by our nature. Moreover, the old western setting in unforgiving effectively lends itself to the anti-hero. In such harsh and desolate environment, Will’s financial hardship leads IM to be morally ambiguous to survive and allows him to commit villainous acts for good reason.
In addition, the sense of lawlessness In the Old West empowers the significant role of the sheriff as the absolute personification of law. Similar to Will ruthless enforcements. Not only that, Little Bill’s dramatic foil highlights the utilization of violence in Will’s morally ambiguous quest. Through Will, we can identify the scarred humanity innately progressing through the world. In the comparison of Alex and Will Mummy, amalgamation of good and evil, use of violence and ironic moral ambiguity could be understood as a full-value representative of an anti-hero.
It is clear that in spite of differences in background and social frailties, both protagonists employ violence in defense of individuality or to survive. The dark side of Will’s nature resurfaces at the end revealing his failure to remain a noble man, and Alex is deprived of the possibility to choose which signifies free will and existence of the self. Moreover, the visual depiction of Will and Ale’s anti-heroism motivates us to reflect more on our self-actualization and positions us to hate and feel moral ambiguity bout the character and towards the character.
They are portrayed to have flaws but held fast to their true nature, and thus show the real human nature. To conclude, the two dichotomous characters are Juxtaposed and combined to represent two anti- heroes that we can realistically and sympathetically relate to in spite of their undesirable true nature, furthering that they are necessary and fundamental part of human nature. Therefore, the realistic traits of an anti-hero exemplify the complex human nature and ultimately connect us to their lack of conventional greatness and our own world and humanity.