Study Guide

The Wanting Seed Part 1, Chapter 2

By Anthony Burgess

Part 1, Chapter 2

  • While Beatrice-Joanna is riding the State Health Service elevator down, on another side of town her husband Tristram is riding an elevator up towards his classroom on "the thirty-second floor of the South London (Channel) Unitary School (Boys) Division Four" (1.2.1).
  • In his classroom, Tristram teaches the day's lesson in modern history to his fifth-form students, who are mostly bored stiff.
  • Tristram's lesson is that social history is cyclical, and goes endlessly round in a pattern of liberalism followed by conservatism followed by liberalism followed by conservatism, for ever and ever amen.