A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess

Week 1:

Mike: 5 questions
Matt: 5 questions
Carlie: food
Katherine: summary of meeting
Jenny: answer questions

1. What do you think about the language Anthony Burgess uses throughout the book? Do you like it? Why or Why not?

2. Do the four main characters in this story have mental disabilities? Which ones?

3. Why are they doing what they are doing?

4. What is the significance of the thefts and rapes and vandalism? Are they only wanting attention or something more?

5. Are they only doing these things because they are drunk? Or is this normal behavior?

1. Does Alex's slang add to the experience of reading this book or detriment it?

2. Do you think the totalitarian government this book is set during has an effect on the ultra violent teenagers?

3. Why do you think Alex behaves to monstrously?

4. What avenues can you see this book's plot taking?

5. Despite numerous beatings, thefts, rapes, and murders, do you connect with Alex in the slightest?

Our first book club meeting started off with Carlie bringing in delicious coconut girl scout cookies. We munched while talking about the beginning of our classic book, A Clockwork Orange. We discussed the Russian slang and how although it was hard to get used to at first, ended up being really cool and a lot of people’s favorite aspect of the book. We spent a portion of the meeting looking up the definitions for all the slang. We also discussed the aspect of ultra-violence as a plot element, and the rapes and numerous acts of violence that take place in the book. The protagonist is 15-year-old Alex and his band of thugs that cause mayhem wherever they go. We talked about why we read things that scare us or disturb us, and we agreed that we like reading or watching these things because we like the adrenaline rush, it makes us think, to experience emotions you wouldn’t normal feel, to put perspective on your own life, and to enjoy the certain level of style that goes into horror.

Character Question
The main character and narrator in the story is a boy named Alex. He is the leader of a violent gang consisting of his three brothers Dim, Georgie, and Pete even though he is only 15 years old. They are the only main characters that were introduced so far. Alex and his brothers wander around town at night and cause trouble by stealing, breaking into houses and brutally beating and raping innocent people. Alex is definitely an interesting character We do not know much about his background yet.

Week 2.
Mike Arigot- Summary
Matt: 5 Questions
Jen- Food

At our meeting today we enjoyed Jen’s delicious chocolate chip cookies and discussed the book. We talked about the various acts of violence Alex has committed so far. How he beat up an old man and robbed him and robbed the house of a writer and raped his wife in front of him. We also discussed the sicker, more inappropriate parts of the book, like when Alex masturbates to classical music.

1. This week we will focus on language. Now that you've had further exposure to Alex's slang, do you enjoy it?

2. What do you think Anthony Burgess is trying to accomplish by using such eclectic and confusing terminology?

3. Why do you think Alex loves classical music?

4. What can you possibly see brewing between Alex and his fellow "gang" members?

5. Why do you think Alex is the undisputed leader of his gang?

Week 3.
Katherine- Questions
Carlie- Summary
Mike- Food

1. Alex: love him or hate him?
Carlie says “He’s a freak so he’s a little hard to love, but his character is intriguing”
Jen says “He’s definitely interesting but I don’t like the character that much”
Mike says “he’s a really twisted kid who probably had a fucked up childhood”
Matt says “the reason he’s so fucked up is because of the society he was brought up in. I kind of like him.”
2. Do you think Alex could ever permanently change from the brainwashing?
Everyone says no. It’ll never fix him he’ll just be scared whenever the topic comes up.
3. What was your favorite part of the book so far?
Mike says “I liked all the lies he made up”
Matt says” I like the really violent scenes”
Carlie says “Yea”
Jen says “What was the question?”
4. Anything particularly disturbing about the book thus far?
Matt says “Well yes, I don’t know about the first 100 pages?”
Mike “When they made him watch the acts of violence”
Carlie and Jen both agreed
5. Who is your favorite character?
Matt, Jen, Carlie, and Mike all agree Alex is their favorite character

This week Mike brought in Capri Sun and delicious chocolate chip muffins. We discussed what color we thought the theme of the story was. Most people agreed on red, because the book had a very bold and dangerous vibe.

Week 4.

1. Why did they turn Alex back into the criminal that he used to be after they tried so hard to make him nice?

2. How do you think Dim and their ex-enemy became police officers after so many years of crime? What do you think happened?

3. Why did they release Alex from the jail?

4. Why do you think he only got 14 years in prison? It seems like not enough to me.

5. Do you think the government will ever use this Ludovico’s Technique on anyone else in the future?

Week 5.

This book was very twisted, yet had a very good story line. The main character, Alex, is the reader's favorite; not because he is a good person but because the author does not give you a chance to like anyone else. Alex is such a hateful character and he damages society and it's people so many ways throughout the book; mugging, raping, stealing. The crazy story line with the government arresting Alex and brainwashing him into becoming a better person and trying to get him to kill himself and then un-brainwashing him and setting him free.
I would never recommend this to someone under the age 16, and I would only recommend it to a very strong reader (stronger than me). Reading this book was so difficult for me mainly because of the words used.

Questions (Jen)
1. What did you think of the book?

2. Did you get use to reading the language?

3. Did your opinion on Alex change as you read the book?

4. Would you recommend this book to a friend?

5. What age group do you think the book is appropriate for?