Mckailer
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Hi. So I'm currently planning out my NEA (English lit coursework) where we have to compare two texts (novels, poetry or drama) and I thought Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange would be a really interesting choice. However, I need to compare it with a pre-1900s text but am having great difficulty in picking one.

In terms of themes I was maybe thinking:
The duality of Good and Evil.
The Necessity of Evil in Human Nature.
Freedom of Choice VS the “Clockwork Orange” (Conformism)
The Inherent Evil of Government
Duality as the Ultimate Reality (Good vs Evil/ Government vs man/ man vs machine/ youth vs adults).

Any suggestions would be great
Last edited by Mckailer; 1 year ago
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EnglishStudent*
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(Original post by Mckailer)
Hi. So I'm currently planning out my NEA (English lit coursework) where we have to compare two texts (novels, poetry or drama) and I thought Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange would be a really interesting choice. However, I need to compare it with a pre-19th-century text but am having great difficulty in picking one.

In terms of themes I was maybe thinking:
The duality of Good and Evil.
The Necessity of Evil in Human Nature.
Freedom of Choice VS the “Clockwork Orange” (Conformism)
The Inherent Evil of Government
Duality as the Ultimate Reality (Good vs Evil/ Government vs man/ man vs machine/ youth vs adults).

Any suggestions would be great
I sympathise with why you're finding this challenging, I prefer comparing works from the same period! Do you mean pre 20th century, not 19th? If so, then Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad may work. It is short and manageable and also addresses many of the themes you mention, which I think are fascinating. You could also try out Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (1818) by Mary Shelley, which is also interesting regarding themes of human evil and the desire for control. I think Heart of Darkness is a better fit though. Best of luck!
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Mckailer
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(Original post by EnglishStudent*)
I sympathise with why you're finding this challenging, I prefer comparing works from the same period! Do you mean pre 20th century, not 19th? If so, then Heart of Darkness (1899) by Joseph Conrad may work. It is short and manageable and also addresses many of the themes you mention, which I think are fascinating. You could also try out Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (1818) by Mary Shelley, which is also interesting regarding themes of human evil and the desire for control. I think Heart of Darkness is a better fit though. Best of luck!
yes, I did mean pre-1900s or 20th century, sorry.
Heart of Darkness, I've never heard of it but will give it a read since its nice and short. I have previously thought of doing Frankenstein, but wanted to compare A Clockwork Orange on more of a human scale and since Frankenstein's arguably not human I didn't think it would quite work with what I had in mind. Another text I have been considering is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. But yeah I agree with you, I wish I could study two modern texts as 1984 would have been the perfect comparison. Thanks!
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MidgetFever
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As you mentioned, Jekyll and Hyde would be a good one to compare for the whole "Good Vs Evil" thing, and it's a pretty good read too.

If you were going to go for the whole dystopian/political route then the Time Machine by H G Wells might also be a decent choice.
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EnglishStudent*
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(Original post by Mckailer)
yes, I did mean pre-1900s or 20th century, sorry.
Heart of Darkness, I've never heard of it but will give it a read since its nice and short. I have previously thought of doing Frankenstein, but wanted to compare A Clockwork Orange on more of a human scale and since Frankenstein's arguably not human I didn't think it would quite work with what I had in mind. Another text I have been considering is Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. But yeah I agree with you, I wish I could study two modern texts as 1984 would have been the perfect comparison. Thanks!
Frankenstein's creature isn't human in terms of his body, but his mind is certainly very 'humanlike'. I don't think Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde compares as well to A Clockwork Orange, but go with what gives you the most ideas! 2500 is a high word count to hit, especially if you're writing with a tight argument so choosing texts which give you a lot of ideas will be important. Good luck!
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Mckailer
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(Original post by EnglishStudent*)
Frankenstein's creature isn't human in terms of his body, but his mind is certainly very 'humanlike'. I don't think Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde compares as well to A Clockwork Orange, but go with what gives you the most ideas! 2500 is a high word count to hit, especially if you're writing with a tight argument so choosing texts which give you a lot of ideas will be important. Good luck!
I didn't take the word count into consideration when picking the texts Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Clockwork Orange - which are both pretty much Novella's. But now that you bring it to my attention it is a dangerous choice. I think in terms of topics to touch upon Dr Jekyll would be easier to compare but would not offer many contrasts, whilst Frankenstein's the opposite.

I might do an introduction for both as that's what's required of me for the moment and then get my tutors opinion for which is better suited. Thanks.

On that note what would you include in an introduction for an NEA, and how long do they usually have to be?
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Mckailer
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Also, I have officially settled on the theme of: Duality as the ultimate reality.
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EnglishStudent*
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(Original post by Mckailer)
I didn't take the word count into consideration when picking the texts Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Clockwork Orange - which are both pretty much Novella's. But now that you bring it to my attention it is a dangerous choice. I think in terms of topics to touch upon Dr Jekyll would be easier to compare but would not offer many contrasts, whilst Frankenstein's the opposite.

I might do an introduction for both as that's what's required of me for the moment and then get my tutors opinion for which is better suited. Thanks.

On that note what would you include in an introduction for an NEA, and how long do they usually have to be?
DW, there's enough in both texts - no matter how short - to write a long essay. But, to do well, I think you need to have a strong overall argument. A clockwork orange shows this, while text X shows this.

IDK for your intro, i'd say 200-350 words? A good start often is 'In both Text A (date) and Text B (date), ... However, while text A....., text B..... It is usually good to have a clear contrast between the two texts approach to something.
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by Mckailer)
Hi. So I'm currently planning out my NEA (English lit coursework) where we have to compare two texts (novels, poetry or drama) and I thought Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange would be a really interesting choice. However, I need to compare it with a pre-1900s text but am having great difficulty in picking one.

In terms of themes I was maybe thinking:
The duality of Good and Evil.
The Necessity of Evil in Human Nature.
Freedom of Choice VS the “Clockwork Orange” (Conformism)
The Inherent Evil of Government
Duality as the Ultimate Reality (Good vs Evil/ Government vs man/ man vs machine/ youth vs adults).

Any suggestions would be great
I'm surprised you haven't considered or come across The Picture of Dorian Gray. It'd be a missed opportunity not to consider this masterpiece!
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