fifteen-year-old narrator and protagonist. Alex is the vicious leader
of a gang of criminals who occasionally go to school by day and
then rape and pillage by night. He loves classical music and finds
that violence and music provide him with similar kinds of aesthetic
pleasure. Alex believes that commitment to ideals—whatever those
ideals might be—is of paramount importance, and he disdains people
who seem to him to be living without purpose. Despite Alex’s brutality
and his natural leadership potential, Alex remains quite naïve and
immature, which allows him to be manipulated by both the government
and F. Alexander’s political dissidents.
in-depth analysis of Alex.
in-depth analysis of Alex.
writer and political dissident. F. Alexander’s wife dies as a result
of being raped by Alex’s gang. After his wife dies, he devotes his
life to unseating the government that he holds partially responsible
for his wife’s death. He is committed to the ideal of liberty, even
at the expense of the individual. F. Alexander is a character foil
for Alex, the protagonist, as well as a father figure to him.
in-depth analysis of F. Alexander.
Minister of the Interior
- A high-ranking government official who selects Alex
as the first candidate for Ludovico’s Technique. The Minister is
a sharply dressed, important-looking gentleman. His primary concern
is the welfare of the State, and his attitude is entirely pragmatic.
in-depth analysis of Minister of the Interior.
- The resident priest of Staja 84F, Alex’s prison.
The chaplain (or charlie, in prison slang) is a big, burly drunk
with a red face. He preaches to the prisoners about morals, but
his career ambitions lead him to rationalize the treatment that
Alex receives at the hands of the government. He gives the most
concise expression of the importance of free will in the novel.
State-employed behavioral scientist in charge of administering Ludovico’s
Technique to Alex. Brodsky is short, fat, and hairy, with thick
glasses and a rather sadistic temperament. He often laughs at Alex’s suffering.
Unlike Alex, he knows nothing of classical music, except that it
proves useful for intensifying Alex’s emotions during the administration
of the technique. He also demonstrates a warped sense of morality
by calling Alex “a true Christian” after Alex loses his ability
to make his own moral choices.
assistant. Branom is very happy in his work, bright-eyed and smiling
all the time. His manner seems insincere and patronizing, since
it persists even as he tortures Alex. Branom believes in science
as if it were a religion, and he speaks reverently of its wonders.
- A member
of Alex’s gang who later becomes a police officer. Dim is the biggest,
strongest, and stupidest member of Alex’s gang. He fights with a
chain, and allows Alex to be captured by the police by incapacitating
Alex by whipping him in the eyes. As a police officer, Dim is just
as violent and thuggish as he was as a youth.
- A member
of Alex’s gang. Pete is mild-mannered and conciliatory. When Alex
meets Pete again in Part Three, Pete has grown up and lives a simple
life with his wife. His apparent satisfaction with this lifestyle
leads Alex to want the same type of life for himself.
member of Alex’s gang. Georgie is the most ambitious of Alex’s first
gang, and leads the rebellion against Alex. Unlike Alex, who is
interested in violence for the pure sake of violence, Georgie is
interested in violence for the sake of financial gain.
leader of a rival teenage gang who later becomes a police officer.
Billyboy is amazingly fat and fights with a knife. He is thinner
when Alex meets him again in Part 3, but he is just as violent and
thuggish as he was in his younger days.
Pee and em
father and mother. Pee and em, are decent, ordinary people who sleepwalk
their way through mundane existences in State jobs. They tolerate
Alex’s unexplained comings and goings largely because they are timid
and afraid of their son. Their shyness and weakness provide a foil
to Alex’s vicious activism.
Z. Dolin, Rubinstein, and D. B. da Silva
- Political dissidents and associates of F. Alexander.
These three, like F. Alexander, are greatly concerned with the cause
of liberty. They think of their struggle against the State as a
struggle for mankind, and they are largely willing to sacrifice
individuals—in this case, Alex—for their cause.
P. R. Deltoid
Post-Corrective Adviser, or Probation Officer. Deltoid is a tired
and overworked public servant who labors at his job even as he grows
increasingly aware of how little it actually helps. Alex confounds
him because Alex’s violence does not share any characteristics with the
typical explanations of human behavior to which Deltoid ascribes.
old man from the library. Jack loves geometry and appears in Parts
1 and 3. When Alex’s gang finds him, he is carrying home books from
the library on crystallography, snowflakes, and the rhombohedral system.
lodger who lives in Alex’s room while Alex is incarcerated. Joe
considers himself a son to Alex’s parents and hates Alex for the
pain he has caused them.
- The head of Staja 84F, Alex’s prison. Unlike the Minister
of the Interior, the Governor believes that criminals should be
punished the traditional way.
head guard at Staja 84F. Volatile and mean, he despises the prisoners
he watches and treats them mercilessly.
Rick, Len, and Bully
- Alex’s new gang in Part Three. These three are similar
to Alex’s old gang from Part One, but they are more violent than
the old gang and more fluent in nadsat
The old woman, or the Catlady
- The old woman who dies as a result of Alex’s break-in.
The old woman lives alone with her cats and seems crazy.
Marty and Sonietta
- Ten-year-old girls whom Alex rapes. These girls are
typical youth who ditch school when they want, listen to pop music,
and talk in their own slang. Alex finds them in the record store
in Part One.
police officer partnered with Dim and Billyboy. Rex is nonchalant
when Billyboy and Dim beat Alex. He calmly sits in the car, reading
a book and smoking a cigarette.
- A record
store employee. Andy is thin and bald and likes classical music.
He sells Alex a copy of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Part One.