A Clockwork Orange

In “A Clockwork Orange,” a young fifteen year old droog named Alex is a thug on the streets. He and his fellow droogs Pete, Dim, and Georgie do every single horrendous thing possible: raping innocent women, breaking into houses, picking on men that

were simply minding their own business, stealing cars, spending stolen money on drinks for women, getting into violent fights, and more. After a whole mist of chaos, his three droogs betray him and Alex is sent to prison for fourteen years.

In the prison, Alex meets a chaplain and the chaplain allows him to read the Bible and listen to classical music, for Alex loved classical music before he went to prison. When he was in prison, he was intrigued with the Bible simply because of all of the drinking, sex, and violence that was told in it. After murdering another prisoner in the cell, Alex is “the first candidate for the Ludovico’s Technique.” The Ludovico’s Technique is a brainwashing system that was designed to make stubborn prisoners becomes harmless.

After two years, Alex is released from prison since he has already transformed from a vicious thug to a helpless young man. He also realizes that he is defenseless because Dim and his enemy from the past, Billyboy, are now policemen and take every chance to attack him since he cannot do anything back to them. Finally, the novel ends when the government turns him back into the person he was before because a man named F. Alexander gets the word out that the government used the Ludovico’s Technique on him. He forms a new gang but after finding Pete again and finding out that Pete has led a “normal” life (which includes being married), Alex realizes that is all he wants to do now is have a so called “normal” life with a family, regular job, and what he calls a “grown-up goloss.”

This book, as we know, is mainly about a fifteen year old boy named Alex. Alex is the leader of his gang that includes Dim, Georgie, and Pete. At night, they feel that they rule the streets. This is evident because most of the incidents, if not all, take place in the night, such as the raping of F. Alexander’s wife while holding her husband down to watch, the ripping of the manuscript A Clockwork Orange by F. Alexander (though we do not know that that is his name at the time of the ripping of the manuscript), stealing cars, drinking milk laced with other drugs at the Korova Milkbar, and as Alex would say, “all that cal.” This may also demonstrate that Alex feels a high sense of security during the nighttime rather than the daytime since most of the incidents, if not all, happen at night.

Alex seems to be programmed to rob people and rape women, since he does it so automatically. At one point in this novel, Alex rapes two ten year old girls who always cut school, listen to pop music, and in my opinion, are truly naïve. I think that the girls are naïve because they believe that Alex is only taking them to go eat and have them listen to music:

“‘What you got back home, little sisters, to play your fuzzy warbles on?’ Because I could viddy the discs they were buying were these teeny pop veshches. ‘I bet you got little save tiny portable like picnic spinners.’ And they sort of pushed their lower lips out at that. ‘Come with uncle,’ I said, ‘and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.’ And I liked bowed. They giggled again and one said:
‘Oh, but we’re so hungry. Oh, but we could so eat.’ The other said: ‘Yah, she can say that, can’t she just.’ So I said: ‘Eat with uncle. Name your place.’”

Later on, they STILL do not seem to get the fact that Alex may do something bad to them such as, oh, I would guess, RAPE them:
“‘Righty right, Marty and Sonietta. Time for the big spin. Come.’ When we were outside on the cold street they thought they would not go by autobus, oh no, but by taxi, so I gave them the humour, though with a real horrorshow in-grin, and I called a taxi from the rank near Center. The driver, a starry whiskery veck in very stained platties, said:
‘No tearing up, now. No nonsense with them seats. Just re-upholstered they are.’ I quieted his gloopy fears and off we spun to Municipal Flatblock 18A, these two bold little ptitsas giggling and whispering…
Then I pulled the lovely Ninth out of its sleeve, so that Ludwig van was now nagoy too, and I set the needle hissing on to the last movement, which was all bliss. There it was then, the bass strings like govoreeting away from under my bed at the rest of the orchestra, and then the male human goloss coming in and telling them all to be joyful, and then the lovely blissful tune all about Joy being a glorious spark of heaven, and then I felt the old tigers leap in me and then I leapt on these two young ptitsas. This time they thought nothing fun and stopped creeching with high mirth, and had to submit to the strange and weird desires of Alexander the Large which, what with the Ninth and the hypo jab, were choodnessny and zammechat and very demanding, O my brothers. But they were both very very drunken and could hardly feel very much.

The way Alex is with raping women and other crimes is almost as if it were like weed to an addict: You feel the urge to have it even if the urge is not really there. I believe this is so because what Alex does is so automatic: at night, he meets up with his friends, they all go to the Korova Milkbar, get drugged up, and then they run around doing crazy things.
Though Alex does all of these thuggish things, surprisingly, I found out that Alex enjoyed classical music. However, I believe that the classical music is symbolic in the way that the bits in the story that talked about classical music were arranged just like music. For example, at one point, when he is trying to pick out a record to listen to, he repeats over and over again, “What’s it going to be then, eh?” with different “stanzas” in between. When reading this, I recalled playing a Rondo by Beethoven when I was younger. It followed that sort of pattern, A B A C A B A. Also, the classical music may be some sort of a trance for Alex because whenever he did something gruesome, he would have classical music on, such as the part where he is about to attempt to commit suicide:
“It was a symphony that I knew real horrorshow but had not slooshied for many a year, namely the Symphony Number Three of the Danish veck Otto Skadelig, a very gromky and violent piece, especially in the first movement, which was playing now…The music was still pouring in all brass and drums and the violins miles up through the wall. The window in the room where I had laid down was open. I ittied to it and viddied a fair drop to the autos and buses and walking chellovecks bellow. I creeched out to the word: ‘Goodbye, goodbye, may Bog forgive you for a ruined life.’ Then I got on to the sill, the music blasting away to my left, and I shut my glazzies and felt the cold wind on my litso, then I jumped.”

Also, when he is raping Marty and Sonietta, he puts on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony:
Then I pulled the lovely Ninth out of its sleeve, so that Ludwig van was now nagoy too, and I set the needle hissing on to the last movement, which was all bliss. There it was then, the bass strings like govoreeting away from under my bed at the rest of the orchestra, and then the male human goloss coming in and telling them all to be joyful, and then the lovely blissful tune all about Joy being a glorious spark of heaven, and then I felt the old tigers leap in me and then I leapt on these two young ptitsas. This time they thought nothing fun and stopped creeching with high mirth, and had to submit to the strange and weird desires of Alexander the Large which, what with the Ninth and the hypo jab, were choodnessny and zammechat and very demanding, O my brothers. But they were both very very drunken and could hardly feel very much.

From analyzing the Classical Music in A Clockwork Orange, I learnt that the one thing that you love most can be turned against you. Of course, I knew that before, but while reading A Clockwork Orange for the second or third time, I realized that since Alex loved classical music so much, when the doctors were experimenting Ludovico’s Technique on him, they injected medicine into him that made him nauseous, made him listen to classical music, and watch violent films. I believe that this may be a form of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or for short, NLP. Basically, the doctors associated violent films and classical music with the nauseous feelings such as vomiting, migraines, and “all that cal.” According to the book, the Ludovico’s Technique was an experiment from the government that wanted to try this new formula. Since they released Alex after he served prison time for only two years and they did not call him back, this signifies that the experiment was a success. Also, Alex was completely defenseless when he came out of Ludovico’s Technique process. Through all of this, I am sure that the government is simply trying to find ways to control people no matter what the stakes are and that is the true reality of the world. In my opinion, this is very sad because the United States of America is a Union. Though this story takes place in London, to do this would be tyrannical and that would be such a shame.
Another main character in this novel is the second droog named Pete, a friend of Alex’s. Though we learn at the end of the book that Pete is a couple of years older than Alex, I find it queer that Alex would be the leader of the gang. Perhaps Alex had more of the leadership type and I do think that Pete was the only one that was loyal to Alex, probably because they had been such great friends, though there are no examples that can be quoted from the text. However, it is apparent that Pete and Alex were closer friends than the others. I think that Peter was the only loyal friend because the other two droogs bailed out on Alex and it was because of them in the first place that actually got Alex into jail. Dim may have been the one to put Alex in jail, but I think that it was actually almost all Georgie’s fault:
“’Away,’ I creeched to Dim. ‘The rozzes are coming.’ Dim said: ‘You stay to meet them huh huh huh,’ and then I viddied that he had his oozy out, and then he upped with it and it snaked whishhhhh and he chained me gentle and artistic like on the glazlids, me just closing them up in time. Then I was howling around trying to viddy with this howling great pain, and Dim said: ‘I don’t like you should do what you done, old droogy. Not right it wasn’t to get on to me like the way you done, brat.’”

Now that is some serious backstabbing. However, the reader must remember that Dim is not his real name and though we do not know his real name, we can safely assume that his name is what he is because later on in the story when Alex is released from jail, Dim is “friends” with who used to be their enemy, Billyboy since they are both police officers. Now, as I thought for a moment, what are the chances of an enemy being friends with an enemy from before, and for what reasons would they do such a thing? My guess was that either both Dim and Billyboy were both motivated to kill Alex, or Billyboy saw how dim Dim was and was tempted to use him. Well, in the beginning of this novel, Alex says:
There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim…

So therefore, we already know that Dim really is dim, so the better answer of the two, at least with my logic, is that Dim was only “friends” with Billyboy because Billyboy could use him. Therefore, if Billyboy could be so possessive of Dim and they used to be arch enemies, would it not be easier for Georgie to possess Dim, since they were already friends? I believe that Georgie took control over Dim and made him hit Alex with his chain because Georgie knew that Dim would take orders from him. Perhaps Georgie had brainwashed Dim in some way to make him go against Alex; I do no know. Also, that may be one factor but I also think that maybe Alex might have bossed them around a lot and had air that he was their gang leader. This is only a guess; however, I think there had to be some kind of reason that they would do such a thing as to turn in their own fellow droog to the police. That is why I think that Pete is the only loyal one in the group. Even after Alex has his brainwashing reversed, when Alex finds Pete, Pete does not turn him away and instead, he introduces Alex to “the better side of life”: a clean, gangster-free life with a wife, near-perfect speech (in the days where they were always on the streets, they spoke Nadsat), and a steady job. It is Pete that inspires Alex to take what most people would think as “the right path.”
Before, I did not know what Nadsat was until I did some deeper research. I noticed that there were many words that I did not know in A Clockwork Orange. Therefore, I did a search for “A Clockwork Orange Speech” and found out that the language that they were speaking was called Nadsat which is basically a combination of English, transliterated Russian, and Cockney English. Nadsat was invented by the author of A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess.
Though I am not entirely sure, I believe that Jesus Christ may be symbolic in this story just because when Alex attempted suicide by throwing himself out the window, this may have been an act of sacrifice for the government’s wrongdoings. F. Alexander was trying to get Alex to kill himself by playing classical music full blast because at this time, the brainwashing was still intact. If Alex killed himself, F. Alexander could blame the government because they “drove him to insanity” by performing Ludovico’s Technique. Therefore, if Alex threw himself out and died, it would be like sacrificing himself to reveal the terrible, terrible government.
I also think that the milk is symbolic. Whenever I think of milk, I think of cookies and the phrase “cookies and milk” seems somewhat childish because it would seem like the type of snack that children would have after school. Therefore, the milk may represent how young Alex and his droogs really are. However, in the milk are other drugs to “spike” the milk and when I think of drugs, I think of “adolescent” or “young adult” which may signify that though they are young, they still have the lives of adolescents.
At one point, a peculiar thought came across my mind: In Nadsat, the word “God” becomes “Bog.” In British slang, “bogs” mean the bathroom. I am not sure if this would make any sense at all, but would this be pushing God farther down in any way?
There is one part of the book that is unclear to me. Though this is supposed to take place in “Anthony Burgess’s nightmare vision of the future,” in the story, there is a part that says, “We haven’t a telephone.” How is that possible when even today, not finding a telephone in the house is uncommon?
Overall, I believe that this book was very thrilling and great, yet terrible and horrific at the same time. The stories that Burgesses tells about Alex’s life and the brainwashing are awful and truth be told, I had to do all of my book report in the period between the morning and the evening; never at nightIn this book, a young fifteen year old droog named Alex is a thug on the streets. He and his fellow droogs Pete, Dim, and Georgie do every single horrendous thing possible: raping innocent women, breaking into houses, picking on men that were simply minding their own business, stealing cars, spending stolen money on drinks for women, getting into violent fights, and more. After a whole mist of chaos, his three droogs betray him and Alex is sent to prison for fourteen years.
In the prison, Alex meets a chaplain and the chaplain allows him to read the Bible and listen to classical music, for Alex loved classical music before he went to prison. When he was in prison, he was intrigued with the Bible simply because of all of the drinking, sex, and violence that was told in it. After murdering another prisoner in the cell, Alex is “the first candidate for the Ludovico’s Technique.” The Ludovico’s Technique is a brainwashing system that was designed to make stubborn prisoners becomes harmless.
After two years, Alex is released from prison since he has already transformed from a vicious thug to a helpless young man. He also realizes that he is defenseless because Dim and his enemy from the past, Billyboy, are now policemen and take every chance to attack him since he cannot do anything back to them. Finally, the novel ends when the government turns him back into the person he was before because a man named F. Alexander gets the word out that the government used the Ludovico’s Technique on him. He forms a new gang but after finding Pete again and finding out that Pete has led a “normal” life (which includes being married), Alex realizes that is all he wants to do now is have a so called “normal” life with a family, regular job, and what he calls a “grown-up goloss.”
This book, as we know, is mainly about a fifteen year old boy named Alex. Alex is the leader of his gang that includes Dim, Georgie, and Pete. At night, they feel that they rule the streets. This is evident because most of the incidents, if not all, take place in the night, such as the raping of F. Alexander’s wife while holding her husband down to watch, the ripping of the manuscript A Clockwork Orange by F. Alexander (though we do not know that that is his name at the time of the ripping of the manuscript), stealing cars, drinking milk laced with other drugs at the Korova Milkbar, and as Alex would say, “all that cal.” This may also demonstrate that Alex feels a high sense of security during the nighttime rather than the daytime since most of the incidents, if not all, happen at night.
Alex seems to be programmed to rob people and rape women, since he does it so automatically. At one point in this novel, Alex rapes two ten year old girls who always cut school, listen to pop music, and in my opinion, are truly naïve. I think that the girls are naïve because they believe that Alex is only taking them to go eat and have them listen to music:
“‘What you got back home, little sisters, to play your fuzzy warbles on?’ Because I could viddy the discs they were buying were these teeny pop veshches. ‘I bet you got little save tiny portable like picnic spinners.’ And they sort of pushed their lower lips out at that. ‘Come with uncle,’ I said, ‘and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.’ And I liked bowed. They giggled again and one said:
‘Oh, but we’re so hungry. Oh, but we could so eat.’ The other said: ‘Yah, she can say that, can’t she just.’ So I said: ‘Eat with uncle. Name your place.’”

Later on, they STILL do not seem to get the fact that Alex may do something bad to them such as, oh, I would guess, RAPE them:
“‘Righty right, Marty and Sonietta. Time for the big spin. Come.’ When we were outside on the cold street they thought they would not go by autobus, oh no, but by taxi, so I gave them the humour, though with a real horrorshow in-grin, and I called a taxi from the rank near Center. The driver, a starry whiskery veck in very stained platties, said:
‘No tearing up, now. No nonsense with them seats. Just re-upholstered they are.’ I quieted his gloopy fears and off we spun to Municipal Flatblock 18A, these two bold little ptitsas giggling and whispering…
Then I pulled the lovely Ninth out of its sleeve, so that Ludwig van was now nagoy too, and I set the needle hissing on to the last movement, which was all bliss. There it was then, the bass strings like govoreeting away from under my bed at the rest of the orchestra, and then the male human goloss coming in and telling them all to be joyful, and then the lovely blissful tune all about Joy being a glorious spark of heaven, and then I felt the old tigers leap in me and then I leapt on these two young ptitsas. This time they thought nothing fun and stopped creeching with high mirth, and had to submit to the strange and weird desires of Alexander the Large which, what with the Ninth and the hypo jab, were choodnessny and zammechat and very demanding, O my brothers. But they were both very very drunken and could hardly feel very much.

The way Alex is with raping women and other crimes is almost as if it were like weed to an addict: You feel the urge to have it even if the urge is not really there. I believe this is so because what Alex does is so automatic: at night, he meets up with his friends, they all go to the Korova Milkbar, get drugged up, and then they run around doing crazy things.
Though Alex does all of these thuggish things, surprisingly, I found out that Alex enjoyed classical music. However, I believe that the classical music is symbolic in the way that the bits in the story that talked about classical music were arranged just like music. For example, at one point, when he is trying to pick out a record to listen to, he repeats over and over again, “What’s it going to be then, eh?” with different “stanzas” in between. When reading this, I recalled playing a Rondo by Beethoven when I was younger. It followed that sort of pattern, A B A C A B A. Also, the classical music may be some sort of a trance for Alex because whenever he did something gruesome, he would have classical music on, such as the part where he is about to attempt to commit suicide:
“It was a symphony that I knew real horrorshow but had not slooshied for many a year, namely the Symphony Number Three of the Danish veck Otto Skadelig, a very gromky and violent piece, especially in the first movement, which was playing now…The music was still pouring in all brass and drums and the violins miles up through the wall. The window in the room where I had laid down was open. I ittied to it and viddied a fair drop to the autos and buses and walking chellovecks bellow. I creeched out to the word: ‘Goodbye, goodbye, may Bog forgive you for a ruined life.’ Then I got on to the sill, the music blasting away to my left, and I shut my glazzies and felt the cold wind on my litso, then I jumped.”

Also, when he is raping Marty and Sonietta, he puts on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony:
Then I pulled the lovely Ninth out of its sleeve, so that Ludwig van was now nagoy too, and I set the needle hissing on to the last movement, which was all bliss. There it was then, the bass strings like govoreeting away from under my bed at the rest of the orchestra, and then the male human goloss coming in and telling them all to be joyful, and then the lovely blissful tune all about Joy being a glorious spark of heaven, and then I felt the old tigers leap in me and then I leapt on these two young ptitsas. This time they thought nothing fun and stopped creeching with high mirth, and had to submit to the strange and weird desires of Alexander the Large which, what with the Ninth and the hypo jab, were choodnessny and zammechat and very demanding, O my brothers. But they were both very very drunken and could hardly feel very much.

From analyzing the Classical Music in A Clockwork Orange, I learnt that the one thing that you love most can be turned against you. Of course, I knew that before, but while reading A Clockwork Orange for the second or third time, I realized that since Alex loved classical music so much, when the doctors were experimenting Ludovico’s Technique on him, they injected medicine into him that made him nauseous, made him listen to classical music, and watch violent films. I believe that this may be a form of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or for short, NLP. Basically, the doctors associated violent films and classical music with the nauseous feelings such as vomiting, migraines, and “all that cal.” According to the book, the Ludovico’s Technique was an experiment from the government that wanted to try this new formula. Since they released Alex after he served prison time for only two years and they did not call him back, this signifies that the experiment was a success. Also, Alex was completely defenseless when he came out of Ludovico’s Technique process. Through all of this, I am sure that the government is simply trying to find ways to control people no matter what the stakes are and that is the true reality of the world. In my opinion, this is very sad because the United States of America is a Union. Though this story takes place in London, to do this would be tyrannical and that would be such a shame.
Another main character in this novel is the second droog named Pete, a friend of Alex’s. Though we learn at the end of the book that Pete is a couple of years older than Alex, one may find it queer that Alex would be the leader of the gang. Perhaps Alex had more of the leadership type and Pete was the only one that was loyal to Alex, probably because they had been such great friends, though there are no examples that can be quoted from the text. However, it is apparent that Pete and Alex were closer friends than the others. One may think that Peter was the only loyal friend because the other two droogs bailed out on Alex and it was because of them in the first place that actually got Alex into jail. Dim may have been the one to put Alex in jail, but one may think that it was actually almost all Georgie’s fault:
“’Away,’ I creeched to Dim. ‘The rozzes are coming.’ Dim said: ‘You stay to meet them huh huh huh,’ and then I viddied that he had his oozy out, and then he upped with it and it snaked whishhhhh and he chained me gentle and artistic like on the glazlids, me just closing them up in time. Then I was howling around trying to viddy with this howling great pain, and Dim said: ‘I don’t like you should do what you done, old droogy. Not right it wasn’t to get on to me like the way you done, brat.’”

Now that is some serious backstabbing. However, the reader must remember that Dim is not his real name and though we do not know his real name, we can safely assume that his name is what he is because later on in the story when Alex is released from jail, Dim is “friends” with who used to be their enemy, Billyboy since they are both police officers. Now, as I thought for a moment, what are the chances of an enemy being friends with an enemy from before, and for what reasons would they do such a thing? My guess was that either both Dim and Billyboy were both motivated to kill Alex, or Billyboy saw how dim Dim was and was tempted to use him. Well, in the beginning of this novel, Alex says:
There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim.

So therefore, we already know that Dim really is dim, so the better answer of the two, at least with my logic, is that Dim was only “friends” with Billyboy because Billyboy could use him. Therefore, if Billyboy could be so possessive of Dim and they used to be arch enemies, would it not be easier for Georgie to possess Dim, since they were already friends? Georgie took control over Dim and made him hit Alex with his chain because Georgie knew that Dim would take orders from him. Perhaps Georgie had brainwashed Dim in some way to make him go against Alex. Also, that may be one factor but also, Alex might have bossed them around a lot and had air that he was their gang leader. This is only a guess; however, I think there had to be some kind of reason that they would do such a thing as to turn in their own fellow droog to the police. That is why Pete may be the only loyal one in the group. Even after Alex has his brainwashing reversed, when Alex finds Pete, Pete does not turn him away and instead, he introduces Alex to “the better side of life”: a clean, gangster-free life with a wife, near-perfect speech (in the days where they were always on the streets, they spoke Nadsat), and a steady job. It is Pete that inspires Alex to take what most people would think as “the right path.”
The language that they were speaking was called Nadsat which is basically a combination of English, transliterated Russian, and Cockney English. Nadsat was invented by the author of A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess.
Jesus Christ may be symbolic in this story just because when Alex attempted suicide by throwing himself out the window, this may have been an act of sacrifice for the government’s wrongdoings. F. Alexander was trying to get Alex to kill himself by playing classical music full blast because at this time, the brainwashing was still intact. If Alex killed himself, F. Alexander could blame the government because they “drove him to insanity” by performing Ludovico’s Technique. Therefore, if Alex threw himself out and died, it would be like sacrificing himself to reveal the terrible, terrible government.
The milk is symbolic. Whenever a person thinks of milk, they think of cookies and the phrase “cookies and milk” seems somewhat childish because it would seem like the type of snack that children would have after school. Therefore, the milk may represent how young Alex and his droogs really are. However, in the milk are other drugs to “spike” the milk and when one thinks of drugs, he or she thinks of “adolescent” or “young adult” which may signify that though they are young, they still have the lives of adolescents.
At one point, a peculiar thought came across my mind: In Nadsat, the word “God” becomes “Bog.” In British slang, “bogs” mean the bathroom. I am not sure if this would make any sense at all, but would this be pushing God farther down in any way?
There is one part of the book that is unclear to me. Though this is supposed to take place in “Anthony Burgess’s nightmare vision of the future,” in the story, there is a part that says, “We haven’t a telephone.” How is that possible when even today, not finding a telephone in the house is uncommon?

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