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A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

Part Three, Chapter 5

Part Three, Chapters 3–4

Part Three, Chapter 5, page 2

page 1 of 2


Heartened by a good night’s sleep, Alex walks around the top floor of the house, trying to figure out the name of his caring host. In the man’s room he finds a copy of “A Clockwork Orange,” by F. Alexander. He begins to leaf through F. Alexander’s book, though he understands little of what he reads. As far as he can glean from the somewhat overwrought prose, F. Alexander thinks of people as fruit that grow on a great tree planted by God, and that God needs those people to slake his thirsty love. These same people, however, are in danger of being turned into machines by the modern world. Reading these words, Alex doubts F. Alexander’s sanity.

F. Alexander eliminates Alex’s doubts, however, when he greets Alex heartily and cheerfully. F. Alexander has been hard at work this morning, having already written an article about Alex’s victimization at the hands of the totalitarian-leaning State, and waiting for Alex to sign it before it goes to publication. He also mentions that he’s spoken about Alex over the phone to his associates, to which Alex unthinkingly responds that he thought F. Alexander didn’t have a phone. At this, F. Alexander tenses up, and Alex wonders if F. Alexander remembers that the thugs who raped his wife tried to trick her into letting them in by asking to use the phone. F. Alexander’s moment of suspicion passes quickly, but Alex resolves to stay on his guard nevertheless.

Over breakfast, Alex asks F. Alexander what they’ll get out of this spate of activism. For F. Alexander, the answer is clear. F. Alexander sees himself as a defender of liberty, and a triumphant defense of that liberty would be its own reward. He doesn’t seem to have given much thought to what Alex stands to gain, however, and simply urges Alex to finish his breakfast so that they may look over the article. Commenting on the article, Alex momentarily slips into nadsat, which seems to trigger another bout of suspicion in F. Alexander, who remembers the slang from two years ago.

Soon, F. Alexander’s associates arrive—Z. Dolin, Rubinstein, and D.B. da Silva. They delight in gawking at Alex, their “poor victim” and weapon against the government. Dolin only wishes Alex could look “more zombyish,” a sentiment that Alex doesn’t appreciate. Offended and annoyed, Alex carelessly addresses them in nadsat when he asks what their plans are for him. F. Alexander notes this strange language again, growing more suspicious, but only frowning for now. Meanwhile, Alex becomes upset in his own turn because the men offer him no tangible solution for returning to the way he was, and further, treat him as “a thing that’s like got to be just used” in their political struggle. During this rant, Alex lapses into nadsat almost entirely, even using the word “dim.” This elicits a crazed gleam in F. Alexander’s eyes, making Alex nervous. Alex tries to leave, but realizes the futility of resisting their plans when Dolin approaches him to grab his arm.

Alex goes with F. Alexander’s associates back into town, to an apartment not far from Alex’s former home. There, the men plan to leave him for a while, but before they go, they ask Alex if he is responsible for F. Alexander’s wife’s death. Though they promise to be discreet, Alex says only that he has paid for his sins and the sins of others. This thought causes him to feel a bit sick, so he lies down to get some sleep.

When Alex wakes, he hears music coming through the wall; a symphony by a Danish composer named Otto Skadelig. He listens in joy for the better part of two seconds before the sickness wells up in him. Distressed, he tries to bang on the wall, but the music only grows louder. Alex then tries the door, but it has been locked from the outside. Driven mad by his sickness, he cries out to God and stumbles around the room until he sees two pamphlets, one that reads, “DEATH TO THE GOVERNMENT,” and another that reads, “Open the window to fresh air, fresh ideas, a new way of living.” He takes these as a sign to jump from the window, several stories above ground. Alex screams out that he hopes God forgives the world for ruining his life, and then jumps.

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by Chuck-Norris, September 12, 2012

time machine is boooring


1 out of 10 people found this helpful

So yeah.

by ThatGenericUsername, November 29, 2012

Just wanted to say thank you for the post of the Nasdat dictionary. The language of the story was a bit overwhelming at some points, though this helped me pull through. I'd also like to mention the explanations under the "Important Quotes" were a very interesting read. If anyone reads this comment, I'd recommend them a read for a potential boost in the understanding of the subliminal contexts of Burgess's story.

Or something.


2 out of 6 people found this helpful


by ilotaatoli, November 04, 2013

I don't think I saw anything about the importance of this word anywhere in the guide, but it's a very loaded word. If you think about most of the other slang Alex uses, they tend to be Russian influenced, but this one isn't. Throughout the story, the meaning of this word changes to the reader: in the beginning, the way the teens use "horrorshow" for something positive leads the reader on to how violent they are. As you move into part two of the book however, you realize that "horrorshow" also alludes to the ultra violent films that Alex is f... Read more


18 out of 31 people found this helpful

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