From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Alex narrates from cell number 84F in Staja (that's short for State Jail), two years after his sentencing.
After a lot of "slander" and testimony by P.R. Deltoid and the cops, Alex is apparently sentenced to fourteen years; his mother howled.
Now dressed in the "heighth" of prison fashion – that would be a jumpsuit in a filthy "poop-color" – known only by the prisoner number "6655321" that adorns it, Alex no longer feels like himself. (Wait, is that Burgess being cliché?)
Alex reflects upon the two hard years in the human zoo. On a daily basis, he has dealt with wardens that kick and beat him, perverts who wish to rape him, all the while toiling away in the factory making matchboxes and doing exercises in the courtyard. Sometimes, he has to suffer through guest speeches on beetles or the Milky Way for "education" purposes, but during these speeches, he keeps himself entertained thinking about happier, ultraviolent days.
One day, Alex is informed that his friend Georgie died while involved in some ultraviolence with Dim and Pete. Alex is glad that fate made sure that traitorous Georgie did not live a happy or long life.
More time passes, and Alex adjusts to prison life. He has a new job playing the stereo for the prison chaplain during Sunday worship. He likes his new job because it involves music. (Wow, we would have never seen that coming.)
One day during Sunday worship, some dude in the back lets out a burp and is quickly kicked, beaten, and dragged out of the church.
The chaplain goes on without a glitch.
Alex reveals that the chaplain likes him because of his interest in the Bible. Alex especially delights in all the sex and violence he gets to read about in the Old Testament. The icing on the cake is that the chaplain lets him listen to holy music by Bach and Handel while he reads pages upon pages of ultraviolence! What a deal.
Alex is not so partial to the New Testament because it gets all preachy on him. Of course, the one part of the NT he does enjoy is the part where he imagines himself whipping and nailing Jesus to the cross. Yikes.
Alex is good at his new job, always ready with the record or the disc on queue, no matter what commotion ensues in the main worship room.
One Sunday after the service, the prison chaplain speaks with Alex about the various goings-on in the prison. Apparently, the prison chaplain is looking for a huge promotion, and in order to get a good recommendation from the Governor, he occasionally provides the Governor with underground information about the prisoners – underground information that he gets from Alex the Snitch, though Alex mostly just makes it up.
This time, Alex tells the prison chaplain that some consignment of cocaine has arrived and is going to be distributed to the various prisoners. Of course, this is false, but hey, who cares about the truth if the recipients prefer the lie?
Alex takes the chance to ask the chaplain if he appreciates his help. The chaplain answers in the affirmative.
Now is the time. Alex asks about a certain new "treatment" that allows one to get out of prison in no time at all, while ensuring he stay out of prison as well.
Ludovico's Technique, answers the chaplain thoughtfully, hesitantly cautioning Alex that the program is in its infancy.
Alex answers that it must be starting to see some use, because he sees the new white buildings they've been building adjacent to the Staja.
The chaplain answers that it has not been put to use yet, and that there are grave doubts about whether any technique can really reform a man and make him good.
The chat ends abruptly when the chaplain orders Alex to Bible study.
Alex goes back to his cell after lunch to find that he has a new cellmate. The cell was built for only three prisoners, but now has seven of them crammed in, sweaty and tight.