Course Hero. "A Clockwork Orange Study Guide." Course Hero. 23 Sep. 2016. Web. 29 Sep. 2023. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Clockwork-Orange/>.
Course Hero. (2016, September 23). A Clockwork Orange Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 29, 2023, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Clockwork-Orange/
(Course Hero, 2016)
Course Hero. "A Clockwork Orange Study Guide." September 23, 2016. Accessed September 29, 2023. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Clockwork-Orange/.
Course Hero, "A Clockwork Orange Study Guide," September 23, 2016, accessed September 29, 2023, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Clockwork-Orange/.
Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of the epilogue of Anthony Burgess's novella A Clockwork Orange.
Translated out of nadsat, the title of this epilogue means "A Little Conversation about the Youth." Burgess wrote it to be published just before the debut of his stage version of the novel. A young newspaper reporter, identified only as AB, interviews Alex, now in his early forties, about the state of youth in 1987. Alex has become a family man, taxpayer, and out-of-shape "[p]illar of society," according to AB. But Alex says that in fact he has never changed. He is "fixed like" in his book. They discuss youth, slipping in and out of nadsat, and Alex makes these points:
Biographer Andrew Biswell notes that the epilogue and the stage adaptation are part of Burgess's tug-of-war with filmmaker Stanley Kubrick over Alex and his story. For readers today, a compelling question may be whether this middle-aged Alex is believable. In the novel, Alex does criticize his peers as thoughtless, ordinary, and a waste of time, but his arrogance seems to be tied to his youth. In the interview, Alex's position on the young has not changed, however. He seems to have adopted some of F. Alexander's thinking about the purpose of human existence and some of the prison chaplain's understanding of sin and redemption, perhaps lending more weight to these characters' statements in the novel itself. The epilogue also "fixes" Alex in his story, where Burgess wants him. He asks, after singing his version of "Ode to Joy," whether he can now "return to the pages of my book." AB replies, "You never left them."