Study Guide

The Wanting Seed Part 1, Chapter 10

By Anthony Burgess

Part 1, Chapter 10

  • At school, Tristram decides to skip out early, and leaves his fourth-form students to sit and do their homework on their own.
  • As he walks through the streets, Tristram notices a new police presence in the area. These young recruits look really young, and they're armed with carbines (short rifles).
  • As he chats with another bystander milling about, Tristram learns that the state is funneling young, out-of-work men into the armed police force.
  • Tristram heads into a pub, hoping to wash away his sorrows and brooding fears with some cheap, nasty liquor.
  • At the bar, Tristram finds himself sitting next to an unfrocked priest…come on, you totally know where this is going; the old priest-walks-into-a-bar joke. 
  • Tristram is surprised to hear that priests still exist: he was under the impression that there hadn't been any for hundreds of years.
  • A group of the young police recruits enters the bar. One of them gets the jukebox going, and starts to dance with one of the men in the pub.
  • The unfrocked priest yells at them, calls them sodomites, and tells them that "God ought to strike the lot of you dead" (1.10.17-19).
  • The police officers beat him up, but leave him standing.
  • Tristram denies knowing the man, and makes a quick escape.