Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 3, Chapter 2

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 3, Chapter 2

  • Alex wanders into the record shop he used to frequent. It looks the same, but without the old customer rep, Andy.
  • Instead, some teenager runs the store now.
  • Alex wants to listen to a bit of the Mozart Number Forty in the listening booth.
  • The teenager makes fun of him.
  • Alex feels his temper get hot, but quickly tries to forget about it, instead smiling at the flippant teenager.
  • The music being piped over in the booth is not the Mozart Symphony Number Forty in G Minor, but the Mozart Prague. Usually, this would have enraged Alex, but before he can get angry, he feels sick to his stomach.
  • He realizes he has forgotten how Ludovico's Technique has ruined all classical music for him.
  • Crawling out of the booth sick and in pain, Alex staggers into the Korova Milkbar around the corner.
  • The place is rather empty, since it's early morning. Alex orders some laced milk, size large.
  • The hallucinogens work on Alex. He starts to trip.
  • He starts to make funny noises.
  • He talks about God and his Angels and Saints…and sees them standing in front of him in a sea of statues.
  • He feels light, almost like he's in Heaven.
  • He grows warm and cold, and collapses…
  • Alex starts to cry, feeling like death is the only answer to his sorrows.
  • He doesn't know how he could kill himself without getting sick, though, as the thought of himself bloodied by his own sword makes him sick.
  • Alex walks to the public library to research other methods that enable him to die by drifting off into a dreamless sleep.
  • This is an old public library, one that Alex hasn't been in since he was six years old.
  • There are a lot of books and Alex, bewildered, goes from one to another.
  • He flips through a medical book, but its descriptions and drawings of wounds and diseases only make him sicker.
  • Then he takes down the Bible, thinking that it might give him comfort, like in his Staja days.
  • Wrong; he starts to cry about Jews fighting with one another.
  • An old man asks him what the matter is.
  • The two converse.
  • A second old man—named Jack—yells out that he recognizes Alex—Alex beat him up once.
  • Alex responds that he's been punished for his crimes.
  • Punishment? How about extermination, said the old man.
  • Jack screams out for other ninety-year-olds to take hold of Alex so they can all teach him a lesson.
  • They push and claw at Alex when a library attendant comes along.
  • Alex pleads with the attendant to protect him, and to call the police.
  • The old guys continue beating him up until the police arrive.

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