Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 1, Chapter 6

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 1, Chapter 6

  • Going east from the Duke of New York, you first pass the business district, then the library, then an apartment complex named Victoria Flatblock, and, finally, Oldtown, where the houses are quite ancient.
  • The Manse is the site for the night's job. It's a big place, with multiple stories, barred windows, and even globe lights guarding the front door.
  • Judging from the milk saucers around the property, everyone in town knows this place to be a sanctuary for cats. In fact, if you were to stay long enough, you would see them jumping around in the house. You could also see the old woman talking to the cats in her mansion.
  • The boys plan how to obtain access. They will try the old plan of the fainted friend to get in the door and wreak havoc.
  • Alex, anxious to prove himself as a worthwhile leader, runs with the plan.
  • Instead of being another easy victim, the woman threatens to shoot if they don't leave.
  • Alex pleads that she help his ill-fallen friend.
  • The woman threatens to unleash her cats on him.
  • Alex pretends to retreat, all the while narrating how the woman's suspicions are well founded since the streets are a dangerous place.
  • In the dark, the gang reconvenes. Alex, still anxious to show them who's who, suggests that he stand on Dim's shoulders to open a window for all.
  • The plan works! Alex cracks the glass and hops into a room full of beds, cupboards, boxes, and books.
  • Once inside, Alex decides that he'll do the job (which includes robbing, raping, and possibly killing) alone to impress his droogs…so they could really learn all about leadership when he opens the front door bearing all the valuables.
  • Eyeing the stairs going down to the hall, Alex waltzes down there and startles the cat-lady.
  • The place is full of cats, and the air filled with floating fur.
  • Cat-lady raises her walking-stick at Alex. Alex gets distracted by a stone bust of Beethoven.
  • Not seeing the milk saucers on the floor, he trips...and the cat-lady cracks his head with her stick.
  • Alex grabs her stick and pulls her down on the floor, still holding onto the table-cloth.
  • The cats jump everywhere. Alex steps on the tail of one and it bites and claws his leg.
  • More struggling ensues on the floor as Alex tries to get up. The cat-lady summons her cats to attack Alex. Tripping on another milk saucer, Alex is down, being scratched by the cats and whacked on the head by their owner's walking stick.
  • Fed up, Alex takes a silver statue and bashes the cat-lady across the head with it. She shuts up immediately.
  • Police sirens sound in the distance. Alex runs for the front door.
  • He is met with Dim and Dim's chain.
  • Dim whips Alex in the head with his chain, blinding him momentarily, and then runs off.
  • Alex stumbles in the hallway, groping at things blindly, until the policemen come upon him.
  • The policemen know his name, and taunt him violently.
  • Alex realizes that Dim & Co. have sold him out.
  • Alex yells at the police that his friends – his former brothers – forced him to do this. He then realizes that tattling on them will do no good, since they've probably already escaped to safety at the Duke of New York and are getting chummy with the alibi ladies.
  • Wedged in between two policemen, Alex is taken away in the squad car, still kind of blind from Dim's chain and seeing the city go by as a blur.
  • An ambulance goes the other way, and one of the policemen informs Alex that it's for the cat-lady.
  • Alex insists that his friends put him up to the test with this last job.
  • The policemen, knowing full well the exploits of the famous Alex, assure him that he's got the whole evening to tell the story of how his friends led him astray.

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