Alex’s fall from the building doesn’t kill him, but he does break his back, wrists, and feet, among other body parts, before passing out, a crumpled mess in the street. Just before he slips into unconsciousness, Alex comes to the realization that F. Alexander’s associates, his supposed new friends, meant to kill him for “their horrible selfish and boastful politics.”
Alex wakes up a week later in a hospital, covered in bandages and splints and unable to feel any physical sensations. The nurse, absorbed in a popular romance novel, doesn’t notice Alex until he begs her to lie down with him. All she can hear, however, is a garbled voice, since Alex has a stiff mouth and several teeth missing. She goes off, presumably to get a doctor, leaving Alex drifting in and out of consciousness. The next thing he knows, doctors are standing above him, and he believes he hears the voice of the prison chaplain, telling him that he’s quit the Staja to preach about Alex’s tribulations. Alex doesn’t remain awake long enough to remember any more, but the next time he opens his eyes, Dolin, Rubinstein, and da Silva are there, calling him “friend” and telling him he has served “Liberty” well. This upsets Alex, but when he tries to castigate them for their treachery, his swollen mouth makes his words incomprehensible. The men show Alex the numerous headlines from the past week, all of which indict the government and the Minister of the Interior, until the nurse chases them away.
Alex falls back into a dream, where he sees himself engaging in his old behaviors: stealing cars, running down pedestrians, and having sex with women while people cheer. When Alex wakes up, his parents are in his room, his mother in tears. According to his father, Joe went back to his hometown after being beaten in the street by police officers to whom Joe had been asserting his rights. Alex’s father then tells him that they’d like Alex to come home, feeling guilty now about how they turned their son away. Alex can talk at this point, and orders them out, telling them that if he chooses to come back, things will have to be run according to his orders.
Alone with his thoughts now, Alex realizes that he can once again entertain thoughts of violent and unlawful behavior. When the nurse returns, he asks her if something has been done to his head. The nurse gives a cryptic answer, but two days later, Alex obtains conclusive evidence that he has indeed been restored to his old self, as two young doctors tell him he has been cured by “deep hypnopaedia.”
Some days later, his health greatly improved, Alex receives a visit from the Minister of the Interior, who arrives with a swarm of reporters and photographers. The Minister offers his hand in friendship, explaining that as a representative of the government, he never meant Alex any harm. He points out to Alex that they have cured him and have arranged a well-paying job for him when he fully recuperates. Unlike F. Alexander—whom the Minister portrays as a murderous man whom the State has imprisoned, for his own and Alex’s protection—the Minister tells Alex that he should consider him his true friend. Caught up in the hysteria of the moment, Alex smiles when a photographer shouts at him and takes a picture of Alex and the Minister, looking very friendly with each other.
Before the Minister leaves, he gives Alex a present. Attendants roll out a large stereo, and Alex has merely to sign a form before they will leave him alone to listen to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Alex signs, and then rapturously listens to the Ninth.
time machine is boooring
1 out of 10 people found this helpful
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.
2 out of 6 people found this helpful
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→
20 out of 34 people found this helpful