The story of A Clockwork Orange takes place in the future of the director's invention, complete with a repressive government, violent street gangs, and a deadening mass culture. The narrator is the young . Alex, at the start of the movie, is a happy 15-year-old hoodlum who delights in rape, violence, thievery, and leading Dim, Pete, and Georgie, his little gang of teenage criminals. To amuse themselves, they break in one night to a cottage in the country, where they beat up the man they find inside and brutally rape his wife. The boys go on their way, this is an ordinary night for them, and back to their favorite hangout. At the bar, a woman breaks out into song, a little bit of opera. When Dim makes an obscene gesture toward her, Alex, a great lover of classical music, gives him a good punch. It seems to Dim and the others that autocratic little Alex is stepping beyond his rights as a leader, and they plan to betray him. The next time they go out, they break into the house of an old woman. When she calls the police, Dim whips Alex across the eyes with a milk bottle and they all run away, leaving their former leader behind, blinded and helpless, for the police to catch. At the station, Alex is told that the old woman, who he had beaten in the process of robbing, died at the hospital. .
Alex is sentenced to fourteen years in prison. In prison he becomes very religious and after only two years there, he is chosen as an ideal first candidate for a new treatment called Ludovico's Technique. This is a brain-washing method that involves showing Alex violent films after he has been injected with a substance that makes him feel extremely ill, so that the violence and the feeling of sickness become linked in his mind. After two weeks of the treatment, Alex is so thoroughly conditioned that the injection is no longer necessary: If he so much as thinks a violent thought, he becomes extremely ill.