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Extra info for A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (A Lively Learning Guide by Shmoop)
Many evils would be done away with; excitement would be moderated; sobermindedness would take the place of extravagance; court intrigue, or ascendancy of faction, would not have the power of dispersing the people’s servants, nor of throwing the country into a ferment of brute passion, to take advantage of it. (Bamford, Passages, p. 14) Bamford sketches a scene of political expression organized by a dichotomy between reason and disorder. On the one hand, ‘‘the sense of the electors . . taken annually – by ballot’’: regular, systematized political ‘‘sense’’ registered by the marking of votes on paper.
209). The conclusion of Hard Times describes a transfer of power – away from the schoolteacher Grandgrind and his inhumane use of print culture to squelch the individuality of his students, and onto a recalcitrant scholar who can ‘‘beautify . . lives of machinery and reality with . . imaginative graces and delights’’ (Hard Times, p. 226). Having killed off the representative of a betrayed speech community, Dickens offers us the language of the hearth and home, as if it were a memorial to an intimacy and authenticity that have been excluded from the public sphere.
At any given moment during the nineteenth century, many different forms of voice struggled and interacted with English print culture. By turning ‘‘speech’’ into a place-holder for rational debate, Habermas renders it monolithic and homogeneous. He inevitably simplifies speech, so intent is he on proving its turn from good to bad. But speech in the nineteenth century can no more be reduced to critical debate and rational conversation than print culture can be reduced to essays in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine.