Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 1, Chapter 7

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 1, Chapter 7

  • Alex is dragged into a brightly lit office with whitewashed walls. It smells like vomit and urine and bleach. Sounds of agony from other prisoners penetrate the walls. Alex finds himself among four policemen, all of them sipping strong tea.
  • Alex demands a lawyer, but gets laughed at and punched instead.
  • Alex almost throws up, but holds it back.
  • Alex retaliates with a kick and punch.
  • After that, though, the four policemen gang up on him and beat him until he cries out apologies.
  • P. R. Deltoid comes to visit, unamused.
  • He looks at Alex as if he were a thing and no longer a boy.
  • Alex tries to explain that he was duly influenced by his no-good friends.
  • Coldly, P. R. Deltoid promises to appear in court tomorrow.
  • The other policemen urge P. R. Deltoid to give Alex a bash in the chops, but instead he pulls his face close to Alex's and spits full in Alex's face. He then wipes his wet lips with the back of his hand. Alex thanks P. R. Deltoid, who leaves promptly.
  • The police now push Alex to make a statement, to be turned into a signed confession. So, Alex gushes about the ultra-violence and the rape for pages on end, making sure to include his so-called friends.
  • Alex is then kicked, punched, and bullied off to a holding cell with ten or twelve other criminals, most of them drunk. Two of these criminals immediately try to molest him. Alex manages to fight them off with the help of a cop.
  • Exhausted, Alex drifts off thinking about Beethoven's Ninth.
  • A cop comes to wake Alex up from the other end of the holding cell. Reluctantly, Alex goes to him.
  • But before the cop opens his mouth, Alex guesses it: the cat-lady has died in the hospital; apparently, Alex cracked her a bit too hard.
  • Alex thinks about all the cats, now orphaned, having no mistress who will feed them.
  • Alex realizes that he has committed murder, and reveals that he has done so at the ripe old age of fifteen.

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