There was an old cockney expression "as queer as a clockwork orange"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clockwork_OrangeExplanation of the novel's title
Anthony Burgess wrote that the title was a reference to an alleged old Cockney expression "as queer as a clockwork orange".¹
" Due to his time serving in the British Colonial Office in Malaysia, Burgess thought that the phrase could be used punningly to refer to a mechanically responsive (clockwork) human (orang, Malay for "man").
Burgess wrote in his later (Nov. 1986) introduction, titled A Clockwork Orange Resucked, that a creature who can only perform good or evil is "a clockwork orange—meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with color and juice, but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil; or the almighty state."
In his essay "Clockwork Oranges"², Burgess asserts that "this title would be appropriate for a story about the application of Pavlovian, or mechanical, laws to an organism which, like a fruit, was capable of colour and sweetness". This title alludes to the protagonist's positively conditioned responses to feelings of evil which prevent the exercise of his free will."
· 9 years ago