A Clockwork Orange: Novel Summary: Part 3, Chapter 3

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Part 3, Chapter 3

 

Alex, being held by one of three police officers, watches in a daze as the other two officers lash into the old men, whipping them with vicious glee. Then, the two officers turn to face Alex. To his amazement, one is Billyboy, his former enemy, and the other is Dim. Recognizing Alex and remembering former offenses, they take Alex into custody, promising to punish him for attacking the defenseless aged.

 

Dim claims not to remember much about the past time when he and Alex were droogs. Of Pete, their former friend, he says only that the name sounds familiar. He warns Alex not to call him Dim anymore, but “Officer” instead. The officers take Alex to a deserted place in the country where they beat him brutally and abandon him. An icy rain begins to fall, and Alex sobs in pain and despair. Then he gets up and starts to walk.

 

Analysis of Part 3, Chapter 3

In their propaganda papers, the government had boasted about its handling of street crime and looked ahead to a crime-free future. This episode serves to show the corruption and cruelty of the police in the State’s employ. Whipping old men in a library and brutally beating an innocent man as revenge for past offenses, these police are worse than any street thugs, and are a mockery of justice. The more Alex sees of the new world, the more nightmarishly dystopian it appears.

 

The events of the chapter serve to confirm that rather than rehabilitate Alex and prepare him for life in society, the Ludovico Technique has taken away Alex’s power to defend himself, making him into a helpless victim.

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