The image of America in “The Clockwork Testament or: Enderby’s End” by Anthony Burgess

Abstract: 

This article examines the image of America presented in the novel “The Clockwork Testament or: Enderby’s End” by A. Burgess. The image of America is conceptualized from the position of a cultural and ethnic distance. The US is represented both as the nation-“rival” and culture-“successor”. A. Burgess depicts America, a former colony of the British Empire, as an immature country, which is not ready for self-governing and which is characterized by psychological infantilism manifested in an emphatic abdication of authority and traditions inherited from its ancestors, representatives of the Old World. The psychological immaturity of the American nation is also illustrated by the common features of the country, such as violence, hostility, and emotional intemperance. In the novel, they are personified in the American young generation, the students, with whom the protagonist of the novel, an English poet named Enderby, has to work. Enderby, like his creator, defines the American model of behavior as an overpermissive one, which results in a complete lack of self-discipline and of desire to gain knowledge that leads to tragic consequences: the low level of education among the American population and the substitution of notions in society. However, A. Burgess, like his literary hero, sympathizes with Americans, as he believes that the reasons for the formation of this national character, is the state system of the United States, based on the idea of uniqueness developed from the idea of freedom and rejection of the past.

Key words: 

Anthony Burgess, Enderby, English literature, image of America, nation-“rival”, culture-“successor”, national character, cultural distance.

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