In Clockwork orange, the final scene involves Alex in a hospital bed and being interviewed by the nurse. He mentions of a dream where he remembers doctor picking into his brain and answers the questions the nurse asks in a very strange way.

Later the government official meets him and describes the publicity issues and how Alex is being given a better life to fix the government's image.

My question is does this suggest that the government instructed the hospital to give a frontal lobotomy to Alex?

For contrast, compare how dialogue of Alex was before the surgery:

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    You're shown, in quite explicit detail, the treatment he receives. There is also discussion about it, even down to its name - Ludovico's Technique - which bizarrely I still remember to this day, from my first reading of the book in the 1970's. – Tetsujin Jun 16 at 5:43
  • Yes I understand but after the treatment he seemed to have his retained his intelligence.. however after he fell out of the building, clearly there is something different @Tesujin – Buraian Jun 16 at 7:11
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    It's too long since I've seen it & I don't have it here right now - but the entire idea of the plot is a moral tale. Sneakily lobotomising him just would negate the entire point of the whole thing. – Tetsujin Jun 16 at 7:18

Almost certainly not.

He was 'cured' of his violence by aversion therapy [Ludovico's Technique] & released from prison. Suffering from the after-effects of this, he tries to find a painless suicide method. Due to a series of unfortunate coincidences, he ends up back at the house of F. Alexander, who realises who he is & subjects him to further torture. This leads him to jumping out of the window in a bid to commit suicide.

After he wakes up in hospital he is given a series of tests which prove that his aversion therapy has reverted & he is once more capable of violence.
His last line [in the movie] is "I was cured, all right!"

In the book [which also has an additional chapter Kubrick wasn't aware of when he was making the film, as it was excluded from the US edition] there is an explanation that the doctors "undid the therapy" but as far as I can recall, without further explanation.
In the book, the last chapter starts with him going out with a new gang, back to his old ways - something he certainly wouldn't be doing if lobotomised - but soon tires of the lifestyle & contemplates setting down and raising a family… only to be concerned his children may turn out to be even worse.

Refs, Wikipedia: A Clockwork Orange (film) and A Clockwork Orange (novel)

It's been a long time since I read the book or saw the movie, but an explanation of Alex's 'odd responses' is that they can be seen throughout - he is an inveterate liar; all his responses to authority are evasive at best. He also tends to be more puerile than the actor's age would allow for - Alex in the book is only 15, which makes a little more sense. His internal monologue is often at odds with his external responses. He is his own 'unreliable witness'.

Now we have a clip, I see absolutely nothing wrong with Alex… he's just "being Alex". The reference to the operation might be the movie's way of covering the book's explanation of the treatment being 'undone'.
I see absolutely zero evidence of a lobotomy - though my entire experience of those is from other movies not real life - but they seem to tend towards becoming a drooling vegetable… vis, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest…

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    Hi Tesujin, Your answer does make sense to me but how do you explain the consistency of the points I brought up with the plot? Was it a careless remark that Alex made about the doctors? – Buraian Jun 16 at 22:08
  • As I already mentioned, I don't have access to the film right now, so unless you can find the scene on YouTube etc, I can't say. – Tetsujin Jun 17 at 11:22
  • Found a clip – Buraian Jun 17 at 14:01
  • It might be the movie's way of covering how they 'undid' the therapy, but I see absolutely no evidence of any lobotomy, just Alex being Alex. Lobotomised patients [in movies, which is the only place I've ever seen one] tend to just sit & drool. – Tetsujin Jun 17 at 14:30

No, it wasn't a lobotomy.

Alex's brain has been reprogrammed using the aversion therapy:

Aversion therapy is a form of psychological treatment in which the patient is exposed to a stimulus while simultaneously being subjected to some form of discomfort. This conditioning is intended to cause the patient to associate the stimulus with unpleasant sensations with the intention of quelling the targeted (sometimes compulsive) behavior.

This is a well-known (albeit controversial) method of curing "undesirable" behaviour: from biting nail (by painting them in bad-tasting nail polish), through alcoholism (by providing alcohol together with Disulfiram, which causes painful reaction when ingested with ethanol) to attempts to "cure homosexuality".

In this particular case, he was forced to watch movies depicting violence at the same time he was given a medicine that was making him feel sick. This made him unable to act violently without feeling the same nausea and pain. As the unfortunate side effect of this therapy, he was also reacting in the same way to his beloved classical music, which has pushed him towards suicide.

In the end, the therapy is reversed, but again it is not done via lobotomy, but possibly via a brain surgery. People that have gone through lobotomy behave much different from Alex - they are passive, docile, almost zombified:

The purpose of the operation was to reduce the symptoms of mental disorders, and it was recognized that this was accomplished at the expense of a person's personality and intellect. [...]. Following the operation, spontaneity, responsiveness, self-awareness, and self-control were reduced. The activity was replaced by inertia, and people were left emotionally blunted and restricted in their intellectual range".

Here we can see that while Alex is not a brilliant genius, after an initial confusion, he starts replying quickly in a way typical to himself - talking about sex ("in and out") and violence, and he gets quite excited about it, to the point where he hurts his arm - this wouldn't be a behaviour of a lobotomised person.

Indeed, as @Tetsujin mentioned, there is one more chapter in the book showing Alex a few years later leading a new gang but slowly getting bored with such life.

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