A Clockwork Orange

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A Clockwork Orange Part 3, Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The police escort Alex away from his assailants. Alex watches two policemen gleefully beating the elderly men, and thinks they seem familiar. Indeed, they are Dim and Billyboy, and they recognize Alex. Alex is aghast, and asserts that the two are much too young to hold police jobs. Dim and Billyboy assure Alex that they have grown up; Dim tells Alex not to call him “Dim” anymore. Billyboy proposes that Alex should be given “summary” punishment instead of usual police protocols. They conjecture that Alex was likely responsible for the fight, and drive him towards the outskirts of town in their police car.
Just like the scholar’s willingness to delight in violence, the presence of Dim and Billyboy in the police force shows that sadism permeates most areas of law-abiding society. Dim’s assertion that he has grown up suggests a small hope that Alex will be treated fairly, but the policemen’s immediate dishonesty suggests that fair treatment is far from likely.
Themes
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Dusk has fallen, and Alex, Dim, Billyboy, and the police car’s driver have reached the remote countryside. Dim and Billyboy take Alex out of the car while the driver sits behind the wheel, smoking and reading a book. Though Alex does not go into much detail about what happens next, the “panting and thudding” he describes Dim and Billyboy engaging in behind him suggests that the two policemen rape Alex. The two policemen then put their clothes back on and leave Alex lying in the cold. Alex cries to himself and then begins to walk in search of help.
Billyboy and Dim have not reformed their barbaric ways, they have simply found a socially-sanctioned way to indulge these impulses. Indeed, their dishonest and despicable behavior shows that Alex’s society is hardly as virtuous as it may try to appear. Alex, outside of all social support structures, is entirely vulnerable to mistreatment from every angle, be it from his cellmates in prison, elderly men in the library, or badge-carrying police officers. And his inability to fight back makes him a victim of everyone.
Themes
Language Theme Icon
Sadism and Society Theme Icon
Art and Humanity Theme Icon
Conformism Theme Icon