Study Guide

Prison Chaplain in A Clockwork Orange

By Anthony Burgess

Prison Chaplain

The resident priest of Staja—that's State Jail for all you non-nadsat speakers out there—the prison chaplain genuinely finds Alex endearing. He also likes Alex because he's a snitch, and the snitching provides fodder for the hypocritical chaplain moving up in the world.

What's worse, though, is that while he gets all righteous atop his sermon mount, he buries his principles and morality for his professional ambitions. He adamantly opposes the State's endorsement of the Ludovico Technique:

"It may not be nice to be good, little 6655321. It may be horrible to be good. And when I say that to you I realize how self-contradictory that sounds. I know I shall have many sleepless nights about this. What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some ways better than a man who has the good imposed upon him? Deep and hard questions…" (2.3.13)

...but he never speaks up against it, except to Alex.

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