The inelastic scattering of medium-energy alpha particles is interpreted as a direct interaction, using the distorted-waves theory. A deformed potential-well interaction based on the collective model of the nucleus is found to give results in good agreement with experiment. The parameters of the potential well are determined by fitting the elastic scattering, and the multipole deformations obtained from the magnitudes of the inelastic cross sections agree reasonably well with those obtained by other techniques. The effects on the theoretical predictions of variations in the parameters are described. Some preliminary study of the effects of including Coulomb excitation is also included.