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A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess

Part Two, Chapters 2–3

Part Two, Chapter 1

Part Two, Chapters 2–3, page 2

page 1 of 2

Summary

By nightfall, the new prisoner has made an enemy of everyone in the cell. He threatens to take Alex’s bed, but Alex’s cellmates rally to his side and overrule the man. That night, Alex wakes to find the new prisoner lying next to him, running his hand over his body. Alex lashes out reflexively, punching the prisoner in the face. A fight ensues in the cell, and the other prisoners join in on Alex’s side. The noise soon causes a riot, and the guards arrive to find the new prisoner bloodied. They restore order, but as soon as they leave, the new prisoner incites another brawl, and Alex’s cellmates decide to teach him a lesson. Excited by the violence in front of him, Alex kicks the prisoner a few times in the head before they all go to sleep.

In the morning, Alex and his cellmates find the prisoner dead. It isn’t long before the cellmates agree that Alex is chiefly responsible, and report the story to the guards, which reminds Alex of the treatment he received from his old, traitorous droogs. At this point, the prison goes into a lockdown. The prisoners sit silently in their cell for hours, until the Governor returns with the Head Warden and an unfamiliar, impeccably dressed man. These three men pace the hallways. When the new, important-looking gentleman finally speaks, Alex understands very little of what he says. The man, whom Alex later learns is the Minister of the Interior, criticizes the current “penological theories” and advocates treatments on a “purely curative basis” that kills “the criminal reflex.” In his speech, the Minister makes special mention of political prisoners. He then selects Alex to be the first in a new criminal correction program.

The guards roughly transport Alex to the Governor’s office, where the Governor briefs him on his status. To his delight, Alex learns that the Minister has selected him for Reclamation Treatment, a two-week program which will culminate in the State releasing Alex. Alex pays little attention to the Governor, who doesn’t support the procedure, and eagerly signs a form granting the State permission to treat him.

Before Alex leaves Staja 84F, he’s brought to see the chaplain, who is very drunk. The chaplain laments Alex’s fate and wants Alex to know that he had no part in the decision. The chaplain goes on to question the ethics of a program that removes the desire to hurt and offend others. Alex, who knows nothing about his treatment other than it lasts two weeks, doesn’t quite understand the chaplain and finds the notion that he is “to be made into a good boy” laughable.

The next day, the guards bring Alex across the prison yard to a new, hospital-like building. There he meets Dr. Branom, whom he instantly likes. Alex can’t believe his good luck as he’s given new clothes, slippers, his own room, magazines, and a cigarette with his lunch. When Branom describes the treatment, Alex feels even luckier. All Alex has to do is watch a series of “special films.” Branom also mentions a needle after every meal, which Alex assumes will contain a nutritional supplement.

The first of these shots comes that same day, before his afternoon film session. Alex notices that he feels weak going into the session, but attributes his fatigue to the malnourishment he suffered in prison, and is confident that the hypodermic vitamin supplement will set him right.

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laaaamwe

by Chuck-Norris, September 12, 2012

time machine is boooring

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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.

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2 out of 6 people found this helpful

Horrorshow

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

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17 out of 30 people found this helpful

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