It’s interesting how great minds think alike. It seems both Kubrick and Kate find the thought of Pure gone Poisonous really terrifying, particularly when it applies to Music. Did A Clockwork Orange inspire Experiment IV?
This post contains A Clockwork Orange spoilers.
Aside from Alex’s deep corruption of the soul, what’s deeply disturbing in A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971) is the scientists’s twisted cure method of. The barbarity is not the pavlovian agony it causes in itself but the ‘unavoidable punishment’… Here’s what ultra-violence really is: when you take something pure and heavenly like Music and make it dreadful and lethal.
Alex loves Ludwig Van, as he calls him, and says about the Ninth Symphony:
Oh, bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now. As I slooshied, I knew such lovely pictures!
I know exactly what he’s feeling for I love Music and it loves me back, in this very same way. So it disgusts and terrifies me to conceive of a method so terrible that it cures Alex of his perversions precisely by perverting the one unpolluted pleasure in his life!
See what Alex later says of the same Ninth he loved so dearly:
The pain and sickness all over me like an animal. Then I realized what it was. The music coming up from the floor was our old friend, Ludwig Van, and the dreaded Ninth Symphony. Suddenly, I viddied what I had to do, and what I had wanted to do, and that was to do myself in; to snuff it.
It is sin,
(No. No! NO! Stop it! Stop it, please! I beg you! This is sin! This is sin! This is sin! It’s a sin, it’s a sin, it’s a sin! )
and it’s a mistake (in the making)… a true Experiment IV.
And the public are warned to stay off.