Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 2, Chapter 5

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 2, Chapter 5

  • Alex now refuses to describe the other films he has been forced to watch that afternoon, but he does let on that he believes Dr. Brodsky and Dr. Branom and all the white coats are sicker than any of the prisoners he's met. He simply could not think of any man sick enough to even think of making films of the kind he's being forced to watch.
  • Finally, Alex is released – sick, tired and nauseous – back to his room. Dr. Branom comes in just as soon as Alex feels better.
  • Dr. Branom informs him of his positive progress, and warns him of two sessions to come – in the AM and PM – the next day.
  • Callous and sympathetic at the same time, he says that the white coats have no choice but to be hard on Alex, since he must be cured.
  • The two converse about how it is that Alex's body must be trained to become normal again and to unlearn evil by responding horribly to destruction.
  • Alex realizes that the white coats must be doing something to make him ill, and he wonders if it's the wires that are attached to him.
  • Dr. Branom pats Alex on the head and walks out.
  • A Discharge Officer comes in to question Alex's plans upon release.
  • When he regains his freedom, Alex plans on going home to surprise his parents, who have not been informed of his transfer and impending release in a fortnight.
  • Some discussion takes place about the kinds of jobs a reformed criminal can have.
  • Before exiting the room, the Discharge Officer challenges Alex to punch him in the face.
  • Alex is puzzled, but attempts to punch the officer in the face anyhow.
  • He immediately falls ill, thinking the whole incident rather funny.
  • After dinner, Alex goes to sleep and has a nightmare about one of the films from that afternoon.
  • At the height the dream about all the ultraviolence, he feels paralyzed and nauseated.
  • He wakes up and attempts to get out of the room, only to find it locked and the windows barred. He realizes for the first time that there's no escaping from all of this.
  • Worse, he doesn't dare to go back to sleep, not wanting to get sick.
  • Soon enough, he manages to fall asleep anyhow and, thank goodness, he doesn't have to dream.

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