“One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” (Individual VS society) Essay Sample

“…With autonomy and justness for all” . All across the United States. these concluding words of the pledge of commitment are expressed day-to-day. but to what extent are they truly meaningful? Should they truly be stating. “…With autonomy and justness for all that are willing to conform” ? Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” is the byproduct of many factors. Although there are many subjects behind this novel. the cardinal premiss behind the novel is that the society that we call ‘liberated’ may non be every bit free as it is made out to be. Kesey establishes this subject through the use of puting. and indirect word picture of McMurphy. Kesey uses the expressed scene of an fanciful. machine-like mental refuge to match to the non-specific worlds of the existent universe ; he uses the milieus of the mental refuge to show merely how hypocritical society can be. and by making McMurphy to interrupt these regulations. the readers can sympathise with the characters trapped in the novel. therefore farther understanding Kesey’s position of humanity’s force per unit area to scrape.

Kesey utilizes the ward to stand for elements in the existent universe. The fact that the narrative takes topographic point in a mental refuge is in itself a commentary on society. In the refuge. it becomes extremely apparent that a great trade of subjugation takes topographic point. Although a considerable sum of maltreatment is in the physical signifier. most of it manifests itself in elusive psychological anguish. The maltreatment that specifically takes topographic point is the suppression of individuality. When looking at the clip period of Kesey’s novel. it’s evident that the same suppression of individuality was being protested. An illustration being the flower peoples. and their desire to non be boxed in. In Kesey’s novel. the combine symbolizes society’s box. “Like a sketch universe. where the figures are level and outlined in black. yanking through some sort of cockamamie narrative that might be existent amusing if it weren’t for the sketch figures being existent guys…”

Within the combine. the work forces are expected to non merely move within rigorous guidelines. but to besides stamp down impulses to show themselves. They are restricted to making humdrum. humble undertakings and are ne’er given the chance to make up one’s mind their ain tracts for rational. emotional or physical promotion. “Yes. This is what I know. The ward is a mill for the Combine. It’s for repairing up errors made in the vicinities and in the schools and in the churches. the infirmary is. When a completed merchandise goes back out into society. all fixed up good as new. it brings joy to the Big Nurse’s heart…” If the patients do try to move other than how they are expected to. they are non merely punished by a downpour of physical maltreatment. but by psychological anguish every bit good.

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In much the same manner. this exists in society. Society forcefully encourages people to develop their possible merely along certain recognized paths. The profession one chooses ; instruction. life style. sentiments. economic position. and overall purposes in life – these are all variables in which society about forces into predetermined guidelines. If people deviate excessively far from the recognized norms. they can anticipate some signifier of requital and penalty in return. Although we frequently believe that we exist in a genuinely free society. there are certain controls on that freedom which can be instituted at any clip. As a consequence. Kesey’s pick of the mental refuge for the puting clearly underlines the lip services of society.

The impact that McMurphey has on the cold. exanimate operation of the refuge is seeable right from his entryway into the narrative. Bromden comments that he hears “the weight of his steps” . connoting that McMurphey walks with assurance and emotion. He besides mentions that McMurphey’s laughter “shakes the walls of the hospital” . This is precisely why the struggle between Nurse Ratched and McMurphey is so outstanding – his passionate and emotional nature is a menace to the mechanistic construction she has crafted. She has created a universe in which she is supreme swayer. and therefore McMurphy saw how the patients were willing to turn on each other in order to delight her. “The flock gets sight of a topographic point of blood on some poulet and they all go to peckin’ at it. see. till they rip the poulet to scintillas. blod and castanetss and plumes. But normally a twosome of the flock gets spotted in the affray. so it’s their bend. And a few more gets musca volitanss and gets pecked to decease. and more and more. Oh. a peckin’ party can pass over out the whole flock in a affair of a few hours. “

The suppression of the person in the refuge is machine-like ; the work forces are dehumanized every bit much as possible. The ward literally squishes the men’s self-importance. “I was a whole batch bigger in those days” . distilling them to what society wants them to be. This underlines why McMurphey is such a menace to the construction of the ward ; he’s unfavourable because he is the personification of all things fought in the combine. He is both dynamic and petroleum. both amusing and contemptible. as he rallies the other patients around him by disputing the absolutism of the Big Nurse. He encourages chancing in the ward. smuggles in vino and adult females and openly defies authorization whenever possible. He is the caldron of emotions that is the human status. and by merely being himself. he is the most valuable arm against the mechanic workings of the Asylum. and easy manages to conform others to his beliefs. “Harding… pulls him a chair aboard McMurphy…then Cheswick goes and gets him a chair. and so Billy Bibbit goes. and so Scanlon…”

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The power of the mental refuge upon the characters is underlined when they go on a fishing trip. Symbolically. the fishing trip is a extremist going from their normal lives. They are entirely in the H2O. devoid of outside influences. With intuition and judgement as their lone tools. they are free from the control of the refuge. the Big Nurse. and society. The work forces easy emerge from the shells of infirmity that one time smothered them. and larn to take control of their ain fate. Symbolically. the boat goes out of control during the trip. The patients evidently become scared. as for the first clip in their lives they are forced to fend for themselves.

Harding takes control of the helm and guides the boat back to safety. The magnitude of this event lies in the fact that he was antecedently looked down upon as being weak. They return to shore as changed work forces. and the local fishermen remark that “these weren’t the same clump of weak-knees from a Bedlam that they’d watched take their abuses on the dock this forenoon. ” The outgrowth of their corporate strength could merely develop in the unreserved freedom of the boat trip. This event underlines merely how influential the mental refuge was upon the work forces. “He’s shown us what a small bluster and bravery could carry through and we thought he’d taught us how to utilize it…” The difference in puting allowed the work forces to stand up for themselves ; something that would hold been impossible within the confines of the refuge.

The control panel in Nurse Ratched’s office was another of import symbol in the scene. as it gave her control over the full ward. She could order what the patients saw on Television. the lighting of suites. everything. In many ways. this mirrors the “control panels” nowadays in the existent universe. Certain people. through many signifiers ; such as censors. editors. media executives. etc. . chair the media. All of these people influence what we think and what be believe by commanding what we perceive to be world. In the same manner. Ratched uses the control panels to chair what the work forces can comprehend and see. therefore commanding what they believe. She even turns off a baseball game in an effort to penalize their desire for freedom and felicity. An of import symbolic event affecting the control panel takes topographic point at the terminal of the narrative. “I heaved once more and heard the wires and connexions rupturing out of the floor. I lurched it up to my articulatio genuss and was able to acquire an arm around it and my other manus under it… the impulse carry the panel through the screen and window with a rending clang. ” When Chief Bromden escapes to freedom – he does so by rending the control panel from Ratched’s office and throwing it through a window. His newfound freedom is non merely represented by his flight into the existent universe but besides in the devastation of the really object that limited his life. “I been off a long clip. “

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It’s evident that Kesey’s usage of puting non merely enhances the deepness of the narrative. but besides provides the reader with an unbelievable penetration into the character’s heads. Black Marias and psyches. The characters themselves are metaphors of society ; McMurphy. like the flower peoples of the 60’s. challenged authorization and brought about alteration by stirring others to arise. The scene besides plays a important function in the communicating of Kesey’s point of views. The presence of the horrifying forces from the narrative in the existent universe leaves the reader with a important determination. The reader can no longer look at society the same manner. and therefore the reader is left with two picks. They can go really disbelieving and ireful towards society. trying to sabotage it at every chance ; this is a hard conflict. A more good attack to do certain that they don’t allow themselves to fall into the traps that society has created. every bit good as to ne’er stamp down another person’s rights and freedoms. “We pledge allegiance- to ourselves. “