Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 2, Chapter 3

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 2, Chapter 3

  • That evening, the guards drag Alex down to the Governor's office.
  • The Governor informs him that the important man who graced his cell in the morning was the new Minister of the Interior, who apparently has odd ideas about the state reform system.
  • The Governor tells Alex that he is to be "transformed" starting tomorrow by enrolling in a two-week program which will end in his release.
  • Alex expresses his gratitude.
  • The Governor tells him to save it, because the Reclamation Treatment is far from being a reward.
  • Alex signs a waiver granting the State the power to "reclaim" him.
  • The prison chaplain wants a word with Alex in his office.
  • Drunk on Scotch and smoking a cancer, he waxes philosophical with Alex. Ethics, moral compulsion, desire to commit violence, free will, choice and many other topics come pouring out of his mouth. He questions the viability of a program which seeks to remove freedom of choice from a criminal. He wonders whether it is ungodly to become a person who would be deprived of the ability to make an ethical choice, because prayer would no longer be able to reach him.
  • Their conversation ends when the chaplain breaks out in a hymn.
  • The next morning, the guards bring Alex to the new white building adjacent to Staja, punching and kicking him all the way there.
  • The building has a very hospital-like feel to it, and Alex is passed from one white coat to another until he comes to his white clean room, with curtains, a bedside lamp, and just one bed in it…all for Alex.
  • Alex feels lucky.
  • He changes out of his prison jumpsuit and receives a green set of pajamas, at the "heighth" of bed-wear fashion. Nice!
  • Alex sips coffee, he is given magazines to browse.
  • Dr. Branom, who is Dr. Brodsky's assistant, comes in to meet Alex and give him a brief examination.
  • Alex asks what he'll be doing.
  • Dr. Branom tells him that it's a simple treatment involving films.
  • Films?
  • Yes, special films. The first session commences this afternoon.
  • Dr. Branom decides that Alex seems a bit under-nourished, probably due to prison food.
  • He suggests that Alex get a shot after every meal.
  • A shot of vitamins?
  • You know, something like that.
  • Alex lies in bed daydreaming about freedom, getting out, and getting a new gang together.
  • He has a meal of hot roast beef with mashed potatoes, and ice cream and tea for dessert. There's even a cigarette.
  • This is the life, Alex thinks.
  • Half an hour after his meal, a woman nurse with nice breasts comes in and gives him a shot in the arm.
  • Some white coat now comes in with a wheelchair for Alex. Alex questions why it's necessary.
  • He realizes soon after that he's feeling a bit weak, probably from the under-nourishment he suffered in prison. He is confident that the vitamins in the injection will put him on his A-game soon enough.

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