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The following context is from a film analysis for "Clockwork Orange" titled "A CLOCKWORK ORANGE film analysis THE LUDOVICO LIE pt 2/2 by Rob Ager" The author describes the signification of certain props Stanley Kubrick uses in his movies such as mirrors.

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The sequence begins with a panning shot from the writer's desk that is identical to the one, earlier in the film. It's a mirror image shot, as indicated by the mirror newspaper that is positioned for us to see. An actual mirror prop now appears in the lounge but there wasn't one the first time round. The writer talks to Alex twice and in both conversations, Alex is positioned directly between the writer and the mirror. The writer is also now in a wheelchair which is paralleled by Alex being carried by the weightlifter. (there was a jacked dude in the scene who was the writer's minion, who carried Alex in his arms cause he had an accident)

Which of these two senses of the word(if any) is conveyed here?

Parallel verb: 3. To be similar or analogous to: claimed that fetal development parallels the evolution of the species.

Parallel verb: 5. To show to be analogous; compare or liken: critics who have paralleled the novel's plot to an ancient myth. (thefreedictionary.com)

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  • The writer in a wheelchair is comparable to Alex's being carried by the weightlifter. It's number 5.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 18, 2022 at 21:59

1 Answer 1

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It's definition 3.

Definition 3 means the two things are similar. In this case, being in a wheelchair is similar to being carried.

Definition 5 means someone makes a comparison between two other things. In the given example, critics compare a plot to a myth, or in simpler terms, a person compares A to B.

It's the difference between:

A compares to B. (similar to definition 3)

and

Someone compares A to B. (similar to definition 5)

In your example sentence, there is no someone making a comparison. If we tried to make it definition 5, the agent of the verb "parallel" would be "Alex's being carried by a weightlifter, which is nonsense.

The situation could be rewritten using definition 5 by adding in Kubrick as an agent:

The writer is also now in a wheelchair, which Kubrick parallels to Alex being carried by the weightlifter.

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  • I tough that the agent of the verb could be the director of the movie, who is showing (by staging the scene in this way) the fact of the writer who is now in a wheelchair to be analogous to Alex being carried by the weightlifter. Would the fifth definition make sense then? Commented Jun 19, 2022 at 18:08
  • The director could be the agent, but you have to rewrite the sentence. I have added to my answer a rewording of that sentence with Kubrick as the agent, which uses definition 5.
    – gotube
    Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 14:21

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