Cuckoo's Nest - 1 The novel One flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest...

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1 The novel One flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest focuses on ideas of conformity and power distribution. The best and easiest way to achieve these two things in society is through Jeremy Bentham’s idea and strategies involved with the Panopticon. Characters, such as the aids and Nurse Ratched are the power holders in the ward and more significantly represent authority in society. It is through the actions and methods performed by the aids and Nurse Ratched, that Ken Kesey represents the “normalizing process” of society. Ratched uses tactics such as “divide and conquer” and mental intimidation to make her power noticeable to the patients. This creates the illusion of the “fog” and discourages any of the men to disobey the Nurse or have any sort of independence. The “normalizing process” is used to “fix” those who are abnormal. Our society over time has set standards to which everyone must meet, or are otherwise considered to have abnormalities and need fixing. Kesey uses the setting of the mental hospital to portray the real oppression in society. In the novel this normalizing process is represented through how the patients in the ward are treated, and the tactics used by the staff. One technique which is used to dehumanize the patients is to separate them from reality. Chief Bromden continuously refers to the “fog”, which represents his unclear state of mind caused by medication and fear brought
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This note was uploaded on 03/11/2008 for the course ENG 117D taught by Professor Jordan during the Spring '08 term at Binghamton University.

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Cuckoo's Nest - 1 The novel One flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest...

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