A Clockwork Orange

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A Clockwork Orange Part 2, Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Alex refuses to detail the other horrors he was forced to see on film that day. He conjectures that the doctors are far more perverted than any of the Staja prisoners. After an absolutely miserable day full of the films, he is finally allowed to return to his room. Alex is given a cup of tea, and Dr. Branom enters to discuss the day. The doctor explains that Alex is being made healthy—the therapy is teaching his body to regard violence with the repulsion that a normal human would experience. Alex is skeptical of what the doctor says, particularly because the doctor seems to have been able to mathematically anticipate Alex’s moods.
If there is one thing Alex loathes, it is being controlled by others. This is why he finds it particularly unsettling that Dr. Branom appears able to predict his moods mathematically—Alex seems to be unable to command one of his most intimately personal attributes. Important also is the way that Branom hypocritically presents an aversion to violence as normal and healthy, even though he and his cohorts clearly delight in certain sorts of violence—such as utterly controlling Alex.
Themes
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Free Will vs. the “Clockwork Orange” Theme Icon
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After Branom is done consulting with Alex, a Discharge Officer comes to speak to Alex. The Discharge Officer ensures that Alex will have a place to stay when he is released, and offers to help Alex choose what employment he would like to have when he is reintroduced to society. Before he leaves, the Discharge Officer asks Alex if he would like to punch him in the face. Alex, nonplussed, takes a swing at the man, but the officer dodges the punch and walks out of the room, laughing. Afterwards, Alex feels for a few minutes the same sort of sickness he experienced when he watched the movies.
This encounter shows that Alex’s treatment has begun to influence his everyday actions. While he still retains the ability to lash out at others, his treatment has begun to cause him pain whenever he does so. At this moment, Alex is on the threshold between his life as a free-willed individual and his future as a forcibly reformed criminal. Clearly, he has not learned that certain actions are bad because they harm others—he will only learn that they are bad because they cause him pain through association. He's not being educated or enlightened; e's being trained.
Themes
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Sadism and Society Theme Icon
Free Will vs. the “Clockwork Orange” Theme Icon
Conformism Theme Icon
Alex eats dinner and goes to sleep. He has a dream in which he and a group of young men are assaulting a girl. Suddenly, he begins to feel sick, and the other boys laugh at him. He wakes up feeling like he will vomit, but gets over the nausea and falls back into a dreamless sleep.
Alex’s dreams previously foretold events in his life, and there is little to suggest that this dream is any different. Importantly, the effects of his treatment are beginning to be felt in the most private areas of his life—he cannot avoid his sickening aversions even in his dreams.
Themes
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Free Will vs. the “Clockwork Orange” Theme Icon
Conformism Theme Icon