A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange Summary and Analysis of Part Two, Chapters 5-7

Part Two, Chapter 5 Summary:

Alex endures more violent films as the doctors monitor his reactions. Finally, they stop for the day and send the sickly Alex back to his room. Dr. Branom visits and correctly predicts that Alex has recovered physically. He informs Alex that he will undergo two more sessions tomorrow, a prospect that horrifies Alex. The doctor explains that Alex's body is learning to dislike violence, which is what any "'normal healthy human organism contemplating the actions of the forces of evil'" should feel. Alex believes the doctors are doing something to make him feel ill, not healthy, but Dr. Branom assures him otherwise.

Alex considers refusing treatment tomorrow when a Discharge Officer enters and asks Alex where he will go when he is freed. Alex says he will go back to his parents, who have not been informed of his impending release. The officer shows Alex a list of jobs he can take when released, but Alex thinks he will pull a robbery by himself. Before he leaves, the officer asks Alex if he would like to punch him in the face, "'just to see how you're getting on.'" Confused, Alex punches, but the officer ducks and smiles. Alex briefly feels sick, and considers the entire experience odd.

That night, Alex has a nightmare that repeats one of the films he saw about gang rape. In the dream he leads the rapists, but soon feels sick and travels through gallons of his own blood back to being awake in the bedroom. Alex wants to vomit, but finds the door locked and windows barred. He sees there is no escape from this situation. Afraid to go to sleep, he finds he is soon no longer sick. Still, he soon drifts off into a dreamless sleep.


Dr. Branom's statement that Alex is learning to feel what any "'normal healthy human organism contemplating the actions of the forces of evil'" should feel is inaccurate. Alex never contemplates, but only reacts. He still has a reflex to violence; only instead of it automatically giving him pleasure, it now causes agony. There is no free will in his conditioning. Though he still has enough free will to try to punch the officer, he soon feels sick; one can imagine that after some more treatment, he will not even attempt to punch anymore. He is becoming a clockwork orange whose feelings can be quantified, as the doctors' measurements suggest.

But the treatment goes beyond physical influence - it is starting to creep into Alex's mind. Alex says that "'A dream or nightmare is really only like a film inside your gulliver,'" and the connection brings us back to the socialist use of mass media as mind-control. Burgess's second greatest fear after the government's overt restriction of free will through Ludovico's Technique is its covert restriction through the media.

Alex's irritation over a nurse's singing a pop song foreshadows his ill reaction to classical music in the next chapter.

Part Two, Chapter 6 Summary:

The next day, Alex wails for the doctors to stop the film of a robbery and beating; his sickness is even worse than it was yesterday. However, the doctors show him a World War II Nazi film depicting death in many forms. The soundtrack plays Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, and Alex calls it a "'sin'" to mix Beethoven up with such violent films. When the film is over, the doctors are interested to see Alex has a love for music. They ask Alex what he thinks they are doing to him; he correctly believes the shots they give him make him ill, and he associates that illness with the films. Alex pleads with them to keep the music out of the technique, but Dr. Brodsky believes that many activities, even heavenly ones like music, contain some degree of violence. They say he has made his choice, and despite his protestations, insist he is not yet cured.

Alex says the remainder of the two weeks is horrible. When he tries to prevent the administration of the shot at one point, the staff hits him and forces him to accept the shot. Another time he tries to knock himself against the wall unconscious, but the violent act only makes him sick.

One morning, a doctor tells Alex that he can walk, rather than be wheeled, to the films, and that his injections are finished. He is still strapped to the chair to watch the films and, curiously, he still feels sick. He cries at the thought that Ludovico's Technique will affect him forever. The doctors make sarcastic remarks and wipe away his tears so he can continue watching the Nazi films.

At night, Alex thinks of ways to get out. He bangs on his door and pretends to be sick. A doctor opens the door and Alex prepares to strike him. Before he can, he sees an image of the doctor hurt, and after the initial feeling of joy, he feels horribly sick. He falls down into bed, and the doctor tells him to give him a hit. When Alex cannot, the doctor hits him. Alex goes to sleep with the "horrible and wrong feeling that it was better to get the hit than give it."


Alex's free will is now completely gone; his body will no longer let him perform violent actions, even against himself. Worse yet, he now negatively associates classical music with violence. Although music has no ethical connotations, as Burgess demonstrates amply throughout Part One, it has deep aesthetic meaning for Alex. No longer, however, thanks to the sadistic efforts of Dr. Brodsky, who seems to relish the destruction of Alex's only "heavenly" love.

The continuing sadism of the staff is now associated with that of Nazism, most specifically when they make Alex cry while he watches film of weeping Jews. A further association comes when nadsat is described as "Propaganda. Subliminal penetration." While this may be true, the government is penetrating minds through far more overt means - not only Ludovico's Technique, but its other forms of mind-control through mass media.

Part Two, Chapter 7 Summary:

Alex must go through one more big day of treatment before his release. Instead of the hospital pajamas, he is given his old street clothes to wear, and they give him his old razor. An audience of important men, including the State Governor, the chaplain, Chief Guard, and Minister of the Interior, sit in the cinema. Dr. Brodsky introduces Alex as a violent hoodlum who has been converted into a peaceful, decent young man over the past two weeks, whereas two years of prison only made him worse.

The demonstration begins. A spotlight shines on Alex as a big man comes over and insults him. The man flicks Alex with his fingers and causes pain in other ways as the audience laughs. Alex reaches for his razor, but the mental image of the man in pain makes him sick. He roots around for cigarettes or money to give to the man instead. The man continues insulting and flicking him, and Alex tries to give him the razor as a present. The man rejects it, and Alex licks the man's boots. He receives a kick for his efforts, and Alex hopes merely hugging the man's ankles will stop the sickness. But the man falls from it, and Alex gets sick again. Alex helps him up.

Before the man can hit Alex again, Dr. Brodsky stops the demonstration. He lauds the experiment, but the chaplain objects that it removes moral choice. Dr. Brodsky and the Minister of the Interior justify it on the grounds that it cuts down crime and frees up the congested prisons. Alex yells out that he has been turned into a clockwork orange, though he is not sure why he used those words. A professorial type in the audience says Alex has made his choice, and the chaplain argues against this, using the word "Love" frequently.

Dr. Brodsky segues from the discussion of love to the next demonstration. A scantily clad, beautiful young lady accompanies Alex on stage. Alex's first thought is of having violent sex with her, and he immediately gets sick. To remedy the sickness, he throws himself at her feet and makes a worshipful speech. The woman bows to the audience and leaves, and Alex feels foolish. He notices how the men ogle the woman. Dr. Brodsky and the Minister of the Interior proclaim the experiment an unqualified success. The chaplain says "'it works all right, God help the lot of us.'"


As the chaplain explains, Alex's choice to do good is not a choice at all, but a reaction to the pain his original immoral desires cause. It is still a reflex and has turned him, as Alex himself says, into a clockwork orange, half-machine and half-man. Moreover, the chaplain denies that Alex's original choice to lose his free will justifies the treatment; Alex did not know what he was getting into, and now he has no way out.

The State is less interested in rehabilitating Alex for moral reasons than it is in using Ludovico's Technique for pragmatic measures. The Minister of the Interior's comment about relieving the congestion of prisons echoes his previous statement about needing more space for political prisoners. The State seems to be hatching even more insidious plans to deny the free will of the populace.

We are treated to more evidence that the State is just as immoral as Alex was. They enjoy the violence on display as if it were a show, and ogle the attractive woman "with dirty and like unholy desire." Whether they do so with the same violent mindset Alex once had is unclear, but they seem almost more like clockwork oranges than he is; the professor whose "neck [has] like all cables carrying like power from his gulliver to his plott" resembles Alex when he was strapped into the chair.

The sole bright spot in the chapter is the chaplain's boldness in speaking his mind. After refraining previously for fear of hurting his career, someone with something at stake has finally taken a moral stand against the State.