Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 2, Chapter 2

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 2, Chapter 2

  • Alex muses that his new cellmate marked the beginning of his getting out of jail.
  • This new guy's a bit of an arrogant shmuck, trying to make the argument that because he's youngest, Alex ought to sleep on the floor and give up his bed.
  • Alex's other cellmates defend him.
  • That night, Alex wakes up to find the new guy lying next to him in his bed, snoring and masturbating. Alex punches him as a part of a reflex.
  • The other cellmates wake up and join in.
  • The brawl causes the lights to be turned on, and the guards arrive to find the newest guy all bloody.
  • Everyone points to Alex being the fire starter. Alex complains that he's not going to tolerate a guy who tried to molest him in his sleep.
  • The guards make fun of him for being a princess and leave after turning the lights off.
  • In the dark, the prisoners chat and decide that they'll teach the new cellmate a lesson.
  • They throw fists and punches at him, and Alex ends it by kicking him in the head. Apparently, he drifts off into sleep.
  • Alex goes to bed, dreaming about Beethoven and Handel until the prison buzzer wakes him up.
  • The victim of last night's violence is lying on the floor, face down in a pool of blood.
  • Alex touches his stiff body and pronounces him dead.
  • The prisoners panic a bit, but decide that Alex is the main person responsible for his death.
  • Alex retorts that everyone joined in on teaching the guy a lesson, so why should he take the fall?
  • He is reminded of the time two years ago when his so-called droogs left him to the cops. Is there no trust anywhere in the world?
  • The dead body is soon carried off and the prison locked up until further notice by the Governor.
  • At 11 a.m., the Governor and the Chief and other important-looking officials come for Alex. They chat amongst themselves about whether the Government ought to move away from outmoded penological theories and embrace the new theory proposed from a "curative" view.
  • Alex tries to butt in, but is shut down quickly.
  • One of the official looking people turns to the Governor and suggests he take Alex to Brodsky, because Alex is young, bold, and vicious…and ought to be transformed out of recognition.
  • To Alex, those words seem to offer the sweet taste of freedom.

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