Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 3, Chapter 1

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Part 3, Chapter 1

  • What's it going to be then, eh?
  • Standing outside of the white building the next day, Alex recounts his last day inside it.
  • It tires him out, actually. He has to endure interviews for TV, photo sessions, demonstrations, and then, finally, a nap…he's glad to put it all behind him.
  • On an empty stomach, Alex decides to grab some grub. He witnesses the boorish men grab at a waitress who seems to enjoy the attention. He sits in dark corner to eat.
  • A dwarf comes in to sell the morning paper. Alex purchases the paper – a Government publication – something about the upcoming General Election.
  • On the second page, he sees his own photograph: the first graduate from the State Institute for Reclamation of Criminal Types. Ludovico's Technique. A crime-free era coming up! The Minister of the Interior boasts about how clever the system is.
  • Alex throws the paper on the floor in a fit of rage.
  • A homebound Alex looks forward to surprising his parents, all the while dreaming about the classical music he'll be able to listen to in bed. Oh yeah, nothing like a little Mozart in bed.
  • He takes the bus to Kingsley Avenue, and then to the flats of Flatblock 18A.
  • It is quiet, since it is early winter morning.
  • The apartment complex seems to him a bit cleaned up. The elevator even works.
  • Alex opens the door to his home with the key he has in his pants, and is confronted by three pairs of frightened eyes.
  • Mom and dad and some stranger stare back at him.
  • The stranger is the first to ask him who the hell he is.
  • Alex's parents start questioning how it was that he broke out of jail.
  • Alex starts to explain, and the stranger starts to huff and puff…
  • Alex questions him now: how long he's been there, what he does. He looks to be thirty or forty, very ugly, very middle-class.
  • Alex's dad interrupts to defend the stranger, Joe. He lives there now; he's renting Alex's room.
  • Joe speaks up and insults Alex, saying Alex has been a horrible son and that Joe's been protecting his parents like a son ought to.
  • Well, this is funny, because Joe seems to Alex to be the same age as his parents.
  • Upon seeing that his stereo and records have gone missing from his room, Alex screams out in pain, calling Joe a horrible bastard.
  • Alex's dad answers that all everything has been taken away as compensation for the victims, a sort of new regulation by the State. After all, after their keeper died, the cats needed to be fed.
  • A baffled Alex sits down.
  • Joe demands that he ask permission before he sits.
  • Alex retorts with profanity, and instantly feels pretty sick.
  • The parents speak up. We can't just kick Joe out. He's supposed to be here for more time according to the rental agreement…
  • Alex starts to cry, feeling very sorry for himself. His parents have gotten used to the peace and the extra rent money after two years…
  • Well, his dad says, Joe's already paid the month's rent, so he can't go now.
  • Joe cuts in and talks aboutwhat a bad boy Alex has been and how he doesn't deserve kindness—or parents, for that matter.
  • In tears, Alex speaks out about how everyone just wants him to suffer.
  • Joe cuts in again, and says, basically, that what goes around comes around.
  • Alex staggers out of the door, saying that he'll never be seen again. And that he wishes he were back in prison.

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