Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 1, Chapter 2

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 1, Chapter 2

  • Outside of the Duke of New York, the boys encounter a singing drunk. Even after a few tastes of the fist, the drunk continues to sing about the "stinking world" he lives in, lamenting how violent youths like Alex and posse rule, with no deference to law and order.
  • The drunk guy burps.
  • And of course, he gets a bloody beating from Alex & Co.
  • Alex's posse moves on and comes upon Billyboy and his five droogs right around the Municipal Power Plant. Billyboy and his entourage are getting ready to rape a weepy young girl, probably not more than ten years of age.
  • Alex notes that "teaming up" these days is like forming an "auto-team," with four being a comfortable number for an auto, and six being on the "outside limit for gang-size." Anyway, it's Alex's four against Billyboy's six.
  • Alex hates how Billyboy always smells like stale oil, and challenges him and his entourage to a fight.
  • Dim has a great chain he's using on these opponents, while George and Pete both wield sharp knives. Alex also puts his cut-throat knife to use, slitting open the front of one of his opponent's jackets and leaving him bare bellied…
  • The fight grows bloody in the dark, with Dim coming out the worst. Billyboy doesn't look so hot either, particularly after Alex cuts both sides of his cheeks until two curtains of blood pour out at the same time.
  • Like Dim, Billyboy doesn't feel a thing. Because they're big, dim, and tough like that.
  • Anyhow, of course Alex and Co. are coming out on top in the fight…until they hear sirens.
  • No doubt the little ten-year-old has tattled.
  • All the boys scatter. Alex and friends run to a dark alley to catch their breath. They look up at the stars, the moon, and the blue light emitted by hundreds of television sets in the apartments above. All these light-emitting things fascinate Dim, but Alex just gets annoyed.
  • With the sirens gone, Alex leads his friends to Priestley Place, then to the Filmdrome (theatre) parking lot to look for a getaway car.
  • They steal a new-ish Durango 95 easily, thanks to a little tool that Georgie keeps on his keychain.
  • The boys drive recklessly, puffing on the cancers left in the backseat, ramming into couples trying to get it on in their cars, running over animals large and small, and just generally terrorizing the townspeople.
  • The moon shines brightly as Alex decides that it's time for the "old surprise visit." Driving into the countryside, he stops the car just before entering "a sort of a village." They're in front of a small cottage that has "HOME" on a plate hanging on the gate.
  • Alex knocks on the door of the cottage; a woman answers.
  • Speaking like a gentleman, Alex asks to use the phone to call an ambulance for his friend, who supposedly has fallen ill just outside the cottage.
  • The woman says that she doesn't own a telephone.
  • Alex asks for a glass of water to soothe his friend.
  • The woman, fooled by Alex's gentlemanly speech, goes off to fetch it without locking the door.
  • Alex and Co. put on their masks and barge in.
  • They observe that the woman is attractive and her husband is a young writer, wearing horn-rimmed glasses.
  • The writer protests.
  • Alex, picking up a pile of typewriter paper, starts to mock the writer. "A Clockwork Orange" is the title of the manuscript.
  • Alex continues to read on until Dim starts to get bored, at which point Alex tears up the manuscript.
  • The writer lashes out at Alex. Dim starts to beat up the writer.
  • Georgie and Pete return to the living room, stuffing their faces with food they've raided from the kitchen.
  • Alex orders Georgie and Pete to drop the food and grab the writer so he can watch what's about to be done.
  • Dim holds the writer's wife down, while Alex begins to rip off her clothes.
  • Excited, Alex gets undressed and starts to "plunge." Cries of agony and pain are heard and the writer howls the dirtiest of words at him.
  • Alex finishes, and Dim takes his turn with the woman while Alex holds her down.
  • Then Pete and Georgie have their turns with her.
  • After the gang rape, the boys get really crazy, smashing up everything in the cottage, burning and urinating on things. Just as Dim prepares to poop on the carpet, Alex howls, "Out out out out!"
  • The tired Alex lets Georgie take the wheel of the waiting car. The gang heads back to town, running over odd animals here and there.

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