Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 2, Chapter 7

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 2, Chapter 7

  • The fortnight is up for Alex; there's one real big day left; it's to be a "passing-out day." Whatever that means…we can only imagine.
  • This morning, Alex is given the clothes he was wearing the night he was arrested, except now they're all nicely pressed. He's even given his knife back.
  • Led quietly to the same old room, Alex notices that the curtains have been drawn in front of the silver screen, and the frosted viewing glass under the projection area has disappeared.
  • The Staja Governor, the chaplain, the Minister of the Interior, the doctors and other white coats are all there.
  • Dr. Brodsky welcomes everyone, introducing Alex as a "fit and well nourished" guy ready to be sent into the world again.
  • "Actions speak louder than words…observe, all!"
  • The lights go out. Two spotlights come on.
  • One shines on Alex; the other – on a big dude he's never seen before.
  • The man starts to insult Alex. Then he pinches Alex's nose, twists his ear… the pain stung.
  • He challenges Alex to hit back.
  • Alex reaches for his knife, and finds himself immediately overwhelmed by images of blood gushing out of this guy. He realizes that he has to change his own perception of his opponent before he starts to get sick.
  • Alex pleads with the dude to take his cigarette, then his knife, then offers to clean his boots.
  • Alex then licks his shoes. The audience roars with laughter.
  • Just as the dude is about to hit Alex, Dr. Brodsky stops the madness.
  • The dude bows and dances off like an actor. The lights come back on.
  • Dr. Brodsky explains that Alex is not impelled towards the good by being impelled towards evil. Alex must not switch to a different attitude to battle the thoughts of evil that would make him sick. He goes on to say that Alex has no real choice, and the self-interest of avoiding physical pain drives him to become Jesus-like.
  • Alex screeches, what about me? Am I just an animal? Am I just a clockwork orange?
  • Well, the chaplain says, this is the consequence of your evil choices. Too bad, boy.
  • They call out a second actor, who's the most lovely young thing ever seen; Alex notes that she has nice breasts.
  • Aroused, Alex immediately thinks about raping her.
  • But a shot of sickness pierces through his daydream, and he knows he has to think about something else before it takes over completely.
  • Alex breaks into what seems like a Shakespearean sonnet, offering to worship and protect the young actress.
  • The actress smiles, bows, and dances off. The lights come back on. Applause.
  • Dr. Brodsky announces that Alex will be a true Christian…ready to turn the other cheek, ready to be crucified rather than crucify, sick to the heart at the thought of even killing a fly.
  • The Minister of the Interior starts to say how the Technique really works.
  • The chaplain just says, "God help the lot of us."

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