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A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange


by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange Language and Communication Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"These grahzny sodding veshches that come out of my gulliver and my plott," I said, "that's what it is."
"Quaint," said Dr. Brodsky, like smiling, "the dialect of the tribe. Do you know anything of its provenance, Branom?"
"Odd bits of old rhyming slang," said Dr. Branom, who did not look quite so much like a friend any more. "A bit of gipsy talk, too. But most of the roots are Slav. Propaganda. Subliminal penetration." (2.6.13-15)

AHA! So these are the roots of nadsat, as it were. Can you think of any significance that might be attached to it's being a predominantly Slavic-influenced language? Is Burgess referring to his own process, as an author, with the "subliminal penetration" idea? What role does nadsat play as a literary device in this book?

Quote #2

…so I said in a very refined manner of speech, a real gentleman's goloss:
"Pardon, madam, most sorry to disturb you, but my friend and me were out for a walk, and my friend has taken bad all of a sudden with a very troublesome turn, and he is out there on the road dead out and groaning. Would you have the goodness to let me use your telephone to telephone for an ambulance?"
The devotchka sort of hesitated and then said: "Wait." Then she went off, and my three droogs had got out of the auto quiet and crept up horrorshow stealthy, putting their maskies on now, then I put mine on, then it was only a matter of me putting in the old rooker and undoing the chain, me having softened up this devotchka with my gent's goloss, so that she hadn't shut the door like she should have done, us being strangers of the night. (1.2.13-15)

Alex uses his voice and speech to his advantage in deceiving others. The change in the manner in which he speaks essentially makes him a chameleon.

Quote #3

"Strange, strange, that manner of voice pricks me. We've come into contact before, I'm sure we have." (3.5.21)

Ahh…the subtle workings of language and speech!

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