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A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange


by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange Part 3, Chapter 4 Summary

  • Alex stumbles upon a gate with HOME written on it. He swears he's seen this before.
  • He knocks on the door, it opens.
  • He tells the man he's been beaten up by the police and left to die on the road.
  • The man leads Alex in to a warm fire.
  • Alex knows right then what's so familiar about HOME.
  • The man, who is middle-aged, offers Alex some whiskey for warming up.
  • On the table rests a typewriter and a bunch of papers. Alex recalls the manuscript, A Clockwork Orange, that he had torn up in a past life.
  • The writer makes Alex a nice bath and offers him a full supper.
  • Alex swells up with tears.
  • Alex bathes, gets in some pajamas already laid out for him, and has supper with the writer.
  • He speaks of repayment.
  • The writer interrupts him, stating that he knows who he is. Suspense!
  • He's seen Alex's picture in the papers earlier this morning. Yes! It's Alex, alright.
  • The man tries to give Alex his sympathies in his struggle against the government and the police.
  • The man urges Alex to tell his story.
  • Alex treads carefully, giving little detail about his crimes.
  • But he does not hold back on the juicy bits about Ludovico's Technique.
  • The writer is enraged about it! Cruel and unusual punishment, he cries. Alex is no longer a human being, lacking the power of choice, he utters. Could Burgess have chosen a more convenient mouthpiece?
  • The writer wants Alex to help dislodge the current overbearing Government, one that is content to turn a decent person into a piece of repressed clockwork.
  • Alex agrees with the writer, but seems to be more concerned with how fervently he's been wiping the same dinner plate.
  • The writer launches into a huge speech about how ever since his wife has gone, he's been having a hard time doing the chores around the house by himself.
  • He goes into detail about his wife's rape and murder.
  • Alex recalls the vivid details of that unfortunate night he participated in. He starts to get sick.
  • The writer orders Alex to bed.

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