Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 1, Chapter 3

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 1, Chapter 3

  • Running out of fuel, the boys abandon the Durango, pushing it into the wasteland waters. They catch the train.
  • It's interesting to note that there are slot machines on board. Despite paying the fare nice and polite and like perfect gentlemen, irony abounds when the boys start tearing up the curtains and the upholstery of the seats on the train. They do a lot of damage on their three-minute ride.
  • The boys get off at Center station and walk back to Korova Milkbar.
  • Tired, they realize they should get home soon, since they're still growing boys with school the next day. Did you catch that?
  • These boys are super young.
  • The Korova seems different from the way they left it earlier in the evening.
  • For one, except for the drunkard who's still there, there are now many more "nadsats" (or teens) at the bar.
  • Opera music is playing, and one of the women in her late thirties sings along. Alex, being very sensitive to classical music, shivers upon hearing it.
  • Dim interrupts Alex's moment with a bit of vulgarity, causing Alex to cuss him out.
  • Not enough, apparently, Alex leans over Georgie to punch Dim in the mouth.
  • Dim, hurt, confronts Alex.
  • Alex chastises him for being a "bastard with no manners."
  • Dim says he doesn't want to be Alex's brother and friend anymore.
  • Asserting his authority, Alex challenges Dim to a fight outside.
  • Dim gets a bit riled up.
  • Pete tries to break up the fight about to ensue between these friends.
  • Alex retorts that Dim has to learn his place, since Alex is the leader.
  • Unconvinced, Georgie steps in and tries to appease Alex.
  • Pete says to Alex that his punching Dim was uncalled for.
  • An impassioned Alex re-asserts his leadership and authority, stating that even among friends, somebody has to be in charge. Alex explains his intolerance for any interference with operatic singing that he so enjoys.
  • Surprisingly, Dim seems to suddenly click, and suggests that everyone drop the argument and just go home.
  • Same time and place tomorrow night? Yes.
  • Alone now, Alex walks back to his parents' flat at 18A, Municipal Flatblock, between Kingsley Avenue and Wilsonsway. Along the way, he passes by one teenage boy, all beat up and bloody, and two young girls, who've just been raped.
  • The elevator is broken again. Alex takes the stairs, finally arriving on the 18th floor to a dark and quiet apartment.
  • Alex gulps up the milk and dinner that have been laid out for him.
  • After brushing his teeth, he enters his bedroom to sleep.
  • He looks proudly at the flags and manners on the walls, his many records and stereo‚Ķ
  • He puts on some classical music, and finds instantaneous bliss. He finally drifts off to dreamland to some J.S. Bach, with thoughts about a clockwork orange.

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