A Clockwork Orange

Question: I don't understand why Alex waits until Mrs. Alexander has unchained the opened front door and fully opened it, before he and his droogs break in. I'm sure the four of them could easily have broken the chain off with a bit of force. Is it simply part of Alex's nature to be invited in, before he starts his attack?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: It's part of the "fun element" of the crime to get the victim to open the door themselves.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: When Dim and Georgie are taking Alex through the woods to beat him up, Alex says: "I just don't get this all. It was them that went for me, brothers. You're not on their side and can't be. You can't be Dim. It was someone we fillied with back in the old days... Trying to get his own bit of revenge after all this time. Remember, Dim?" What does Alex mean by saying "it was them that went for me"? Also, who is "them" that they with fillied back in the old days and is trying to get revenge?

Qwarke

Chosen answer: "In the old days," Alex and his Droogs used to assault and batter (filly with) the homeless, meth-drinking tramps. After Alex is released from prison and reconditioned, one of those tramps recognises him in public and a group of tramps attack Alex for revenge. Two policemen come to Alex's rescue, and Alex immediately recognises the cops as his old Droogs, Georgie and Dim. They recognize Alex, also. As Georgie and Dim haul him away for a beating, Alex is trying to explain the situation with the tramps.

Question: I have a few questions: What was the ultimate fate of Mr. Alexander, the writer? The Minister of Interior mentioned something about incarceration? If so, why was he incarcerated? Was it because of what he did to Alex, or because he was a threat? Also, the Minister mentioned something about him writing subversive literature? What kind of literature? Finally, what exactly did Alex and his droogs do to confine Mr. Alexander to a wheelchair and how exactly did his wife die? Was it pneumonia or circumstances related to her rape?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: Since this is a futuristic police state, it's likely that Mr. Alexander was dealt with the way dissenters are often dealt with in such situations (Execution or lifelong imprisonment.). In the book, he wrote literature protesting the police state. (The phrase "A Clockwork Orange" comes from a pamphlet he wrote.) Alex and his droogs kicked and beat him while they raped his wife. A while later, the doctors told him she'd died of pneumonia, but he thinks the trauma made her give up the will to live.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: Why did Alex's droogs turn against him? Did they plan to turn against him all along or was it a spur of the moment thing when the police came?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: The droogs didn't like how Alex was leading them, so he attacked them. It's never explained whether the plan was to set him up all along, but given that Din was ready with the bottle to smash him over the head, it seems like an opportunity to be rid of him came up and they took it.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: How exactly does the Ludovico technique work?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: It's an extreme form of aversion therapy. The pleasant stimulus (violence in this case) is associated with an unpleasant stimulus (a drug that makes him feel sick). Eventually, it is hard to think of the pleasant stimulus without thinking of the unpleasant stimulus thus making the whole experience unpleasant.

Myridon

Question: Having not read the book, can someone please explain to me what the phrase A Clockwork Orange actually means?

Chosen answer: According to the author, Anthony Burgess, the term "a clockwork orange" refers to a person who is full of life and juice, like an orange, but who is wound-up like a mechanical device with programmed responses. As the term pertains to the story's narrator and lead character, Alex, he is a prime example of humanity, brimming with life, lust, cruelty and violence. The system then reconditions Alex with predictable mechanical responses and behavior. Hence, Alex becomes a clockwork orange.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: How exactly were the doctors able to reverse the effects and undo the Ludovico technique that Alex was subjected to?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: We're never given details. Possibly electroshock therapy or somehow purging his system of the Ludovico formula.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: What happened during Alex's dream that people were playing around in his head? What does this actually mean?

Socks1000

Chosen answer: It means they were altering his brain to somehow undo the Ludovico Treatment.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: Does anyone know what happened to Pete ? Dim and Georgie become cops, but they never say anything about Pete.

Chosen answer: In the original version of the book, after Alex has his treatment (or, more acurately, his reversal of the treatment) Alex visits Pete, who is living in the suburbs with a wife and kids. Alex then decides that this is what he wants in life, so he gets married and settles. This ending is only in the British copy.

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