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A Clockwork Orange audiobookSEEDMORE-ORG torrent

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Part 1: Alex's world

Set in dystopian 2017, the novel opens with the introduction of protagonist, fifteen-year-old Alex, who, with his gang members (known as "droogs") Dim, Georgie, and Pete, roam the streets at night, committing violent crimes ("ultraviolence") for enjoyment.

Essentially, the first part of the novel is a character study of the protagonist. We learn that Alex and his "droogs" (Russian for friends) have their own language known as Nadsat, and their own hierarchy, in which Alex is the leader. There is a general disregard for the law and for older generations creating an image of a youth movement that is taking control of this fictional future. (This of course being the exaggeration of the concern that came with the changing values of the 1960s, in which teenagers were becoming decidedly more unruly and rebellious.)

Part 1 involves Alex reflecting on his illegal activity (which involves the rape of two 10-year-old girls, and also the wife of writer F. Alexander). It describes the treachery of his droogs, resulting in Alex's capture and prison sentence for murder.

The use of lyrical language and Nadsat somewhat masks the horrible imagery of Alex's actions, and, to some extent, Alex is able to draw empathy from the reader, through his friendly nature towards his audience (referring to them as his "only friends," and to himself as "Your Humble Narrator," etc.).

[edit] Part 2: The Ludovico Technique

After being caught for his crimes Alex is sentenced to 14 years for murder. Alex gets a job as an assistant to the prison chaplain. He feigns an interest in religion, and amuses himself by reading the Bible for its lurid descriptions of "the old yahoodies (Jews) tolchocking (beating) each other", imagining himself taking part in "the nailing-in" (the Crucifixion of Jesus). Alex hears about an experimental rehabilitation programme called "the Ludovico Technique", which promises that the prisoner will be released upon completion of the two-week treatment, and will not commit crimes afterwards.

Partially by taking part in the fatal beating of a cellmate, Alex manages to become the subject in the first full-scale trial of the Ludovico Technique. The technique itself is a form of aversion therapy, in which Alex is given a drug that induces extreme nausea while being forced to watch graphically violent films for two weeks. Among the films shown are propaganda films such as Triumph of the Will, which includes Alex's beloved Beethoven (last movement of the 9th symphony). He pleads with them to remove the music, but the clinicians refuse, saying it's "for his own good," and that the music may be the "punishment element". At the end of the treatment, Alex is unable to carry out or even contemplate violence without crippling nausea. He is also unable to listen to classical music without experiencing the same jarring physical reaction.

[edit] Part 3: After prison

The third part of the novel concentrates mostly on the following punishment to which Alex is subjected after his treatment. Alex encounters many of his former victims, all of whom seek revenge upon him. He finds himself powerless to defend himself against them, due to feelings of sickness and fear of death, as a reaction to the violence. He finds that his parents have replaced him with a lodger in his own home, and wanders into the public library, only to be attacked by an aging old man who he had beaten up with his droogs in chapter one. The police are called by the librarian and when they arrive, he sees that the police are no other than his old 'droog' Dim, and arch enemy Billy Boy. Taking advantage of their positions, they take Alex into a rural part of town to beat him up, and then leave him to his own devices. While looking for solace, Alex falls into the hands of F. Alexander, the husband to the woman whom he earlier raped. Friends of the writer intend to use Alex as a weapon against the political party, exposing the terrible things that have been done to him. Although it is not clear whether the friends of F. Alexander intend it, their playing of a symphony by Otto Skadelig below Alex in a locked room drives him to throw himself out of a window instead of enduring the sickness of the treatment's conditioning. Alex's suicide attempt fails, and leads to his being cured, after the bad publicity for the political party that follows.

Touching on themes of the power struggles between old and young generations, the corruption of the police, and also politics, and attempted (but failed) suicide, the third section of the novel is the most reflective of the troubles of future society, mostly shown through the final chapter, where Alex reflects that he and his friends have either been killed (Georgie), fallen victim to the state (Dim's becoming a police officer) or outgrown their destructive behaviour (Pete). Alex finds that he no longer finds pleasure in "ultra-violence" and yearns for a wife and a child of his own. Alex knows that the generation after his will probably be just as destructive, and the one after that,"...and nor would he be able to stop his own son, brothers. and it would itty (go) on till the end of the world..." perhaps revealing Burgess's ultimate deliberation on the unruly youth.

[edit] Characters

Alex The novel's anti-hero and leader among his "droogs,". Alex often refers to himself as "Your Humble Narrator". At the point of raping two ten year old girls, Alex reveals himself as "Alex The Large". This was later the basis for Alex's surname DeLarge in the 1971 film. However, following the attempted suicide the newspapers state his name as 'Alex Burgess' very clearly.

George or Georgie A droog of Alex's. Georgie attempts to undermine Alex's status as leader of the gang.

Pete A droog of Alex's. The more rational, democratic member of Alex's gang.

Dim A slow-witted droog of Alex's. The real brute force of the gang.

P.R. Deltoid A social worker assigned to Alex, who monitors his progress through reform schools.

The Prison Chaplain (also the prison charlie, a take on Charlie Chaplin) The character who first questions whether or not forced goodness is really better than chosen wickedness. The only character who is truly concerned about Alex's welfare; he is not taken seriously by Alex, though.

The Governor The man who decides to let Alex "choose" to be the first reformed by the Ludovico Technique.

Dr. Brodsky One of the co-founders of the Ludovico Technique. He at first seemed like a friend to Alex, and then introduced him to pain. Plays the "Bad Cop" role when talking to Alex before and after his sessions in the theater.

Dr. Branom The other Co-Founder of the Ludovico Technique. He says much less than Brodsky and is interpreted as the "Good Cop" role when addressing Alex.

F. Alexander An author writing, at the beginning of the novel, his own novel called A Clockwork Orange. His wife is raped by Alex and his droogs, and subsequently dies. He later takes Alex in and subjects him to his extremist friends. Shortly after meeting it is possible that they try to kill him using the weaknesses caused by the Ludovico Technique.

[edit] Differences in U.S. editions

Although the book is divided into three parts, each containing seven chapters (7 being a reference to Shakespeare's seven stages of man and 21 being a symbolic reference to the British age of majority at the time the book was written[2]), the 21st chapter was omitted from the versions published in the United States until 1986. The film adaptation, which was directed by Stanley Kubrick, follows the American version of the book, ending prior to the events of the 21st chapter. Kubrick claimed[citation needed] that he had not read the original version until he had virtually finished the screenplay, but that he certainly never gave any serious consideration to using it.

It has also been noted that Kubrick, on obtaining the novella, ripped it in half, kept one and gave the other half to Terry Southern, co-writer of the screenplay.[citation needed]

[edit] Slang

The book, narrated by Alex, contains many words in a slang dialect which Burgess invented for the book, called Nadsat. It is a mix of modified Slavic words, Cockney rhyming slang, derived Russian (like "baboochka"), and words invented by Burgess himself. For instance, the term 'droog' means 'friend' in Russian; 'korova' means 'cow'; 'golova'(gulliver) means 'head'; 'malchick' or 'malchickiwick' means 'boy'; 'soomka' means 'sack' or 'bag'; 'Bog' means 'God'; 'khorosho'(horrorshow) means good, 'prestoopnick' means 'criminal'; 'rooker' is 'arm', 'cal' is 'crap'; 'litso' is 'face'; and so on. One of Alex's doctors explains the language to a colleague as "Odd bits of old rhyming slang; a bit of gypsy talk, too. But most of the roots are Slav propaganda. Subliminal penetration." Some words are not derived from anything, but merely easy to guess, e.g 'in-out, in-out' or 'the old in-out' means sexual intercourse and 'cutter' means money.

In the first edition of the book, no key was provided, and the reader was left to infer the meaning from the context (unless he/she already spoke Russian, of course).

[edit] Ultraviolence

The term "Ultraviolence", referring to excessive and/or unjustified violence, was coined by Burgess in the book, which includes the phrase "do the ultra-violent." The term's association with aesthetic violence has led to its use in the media.[3][4][5][6]

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