Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Part 3, Chapter 7

By Anthony Burgess

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Part 3, Chapter 7

  • What's it going to be then, eh?
  • Here's Alex, and his three new friends – Len, Rick, and Bully.
  • The four of them sit in the Korova Milkbar drinking some milk-plus and trying to figure out what trouble to get into.
  • They are still dressed in the heighth of fashion, which has changed a bit these days from really tight to very loose. Apparently, they have also shaved their heads, because it this is totally in nowadays.
  • Alex, the oldest of the four, is the natural leader. However, he's gotten the idea of late that Bully wants to take over. But, whatever, Alex is with bored being the leader anyway.
  • After all, he has the best (paying) job of the four, working for the National Gramodisc Archives.
  • Randomly, but presumably feeling the drugs kick in, Alex punches some dude in the stomach and orders his friends out of the bar.
  • Bully makes it an unlucky day for an old guy he punches.
  • The boys suggest getting a glass of something hot at the Duke of New York, not far away.
  • Alex grants permission, and he and his entourage slip into the bar, where they sit down next to the same old women we saw at the opening of the book.
  • They flirt with Alex for a round of freebies.
  • Alex isn't feeling it, saying that his cash is hard-earned.
  • Seeing the eagerness of the old women, though, he loosens up and orders them a round. He orders a small beer for himself.
  • As he pulls the money out of his pockets, a newspaper clipping of a baby drops to the floor. His entourage makes fun of him.
  • Alex tears up the photo, embarrassed.
  • Still not feeling it, Alex excuses himself and suggests meeting the next night.
  • It is dark outside, and Alex is feeling just as somber. He notes that lately his down moods have been dictating what music he listens to. Instead of great, violent symphonies, he's more partial to sappy romantic songs. What the heck?!
  • He walks into a coffeehouse for a cup of tea.
  • Sitting by himself for a while, he realizes that his old droog Pete is there with his wife, Georgina.
  • Apparently, Pete married at nineteen and is now part of the working class, sporting a moustache and an ordinary day-suit.
  • The two update each other about Georgie and Dim.
  • Georgina is amused by Alex's funny speech.
  • Pete reveals that he is working hard at the State Marine Insurance office and that Georgina is a typist. The two manage to get by in a small flat.
  • Alex cannot believe how grown up Pete seems…and married, too.
  • The two of them seem very much in love.
  • The couple leaves Alex.
  • Alex continues to sit in the coffeehouse, thinking about how time has passed him by. After all, he's eighteen now, and eighteen is not such a young age anymore. At eighteen, Mozart had written concertos, symphonies, and operas. Mendelssohn had composed his greatest overture… What's it going to be for not-so-little Alex?
  • Back out in the dark winter streets, Alex envisions his adulthood. He likes the idea of a wife, a mother to his son.
  • A son to whom he would teach what life has taught him. Of course, the little guy wouldn't listen to him, but that's just how it's supposed to be.
  • A youth has to grow up on its own terms.
  • Anyway, a wife and a son: that was something new to do.

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