Study Guide

A Clockwork Orange Chaplain (Godfrey Quigley)

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Chaplain (Godfrey Quigley)

The Chaplain's Choice

The Chaplain is, to put it mildly, wordy and long-winded. Listening to him is like sitting through the longest and dullest TED talk imaginable. Here is just one of his quotes, uncut and unedited for your (lack of) pleasure:

CHAPLAIN: What's it going to be, eh? Is it going to be in and out of institutions like this? Or more in then out for most of you? Or are you going to attend the divine word and realize the punishment that awaits unrepentant sinners in the next world as well as this. A lot of idiots you are, selling your birthright for a saucer of cold porridge. The thrill of theft. Of violence. The urge to live easy. Well, I ask you, what is it worth? Well we have undeniable proof, yes, incontrovertible evidence that Hell exists. I know, I know, my friends. I have been informed in visions that there is a place darker than any prison, hotter than any human flame of human fire, where sols of unrepentant criminal sinners like yourselves...

Still awake? This guy seems to steeped right from the fire-and-brimstone school of preaching, popularized by Jonathan Edwards' infamous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."

The Chaplain presents an alternative to the Ludovico technique. Instead of being brainwashed by chemicals and snuff films, A Clockwork Orange seems to say, be brainwashed by a man telling you that you'll burn in hell for all eternity. Although the Chaplain says he believes in man's capacity for choice, if the options are a) eternal life or b) burning in hell for all eternity, do you really get to do a lot of choosing?

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