Essay On Conformity

1552 Words7 Pages
It is typical at some point in one’s life to want to be like everybody else. Conforming to surroundings is a common human trait, and while some level of conformity is good, too much of it can have detrimental effects on people’s lives. When a society as a whole begins to conform to have the same fashion, lifestyles, and even moral values, the human race can begin to lose its individuality. Additionally, those who are seen as “different” or “outcasts” are made out to seem like they are a different species entirely. In the 1950s, societal conformity was at an all time high. The development of suburbs, postwar glee, and television shows that promoted the perfect American family all contributed to the people’s desire to be like those around them…show more content…
In fact, during this decade, being gay was considered a disease; a disease that was very difficult to treat. Many psychiatrists believed homosexuality could be cured in a mental institution; hence the high number of gay men seeking help for their “condition” during these years (Greenebaum and Funston). Dale Harding, a patient on the ward in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, represents many homosexual men in the 1950s who were trying to repress their true identities. Harding is a man with “...a face that sometimes makes you think you seen him in the movies, like it’s a face too pretty to just be a guy on the street” (Kesey 20). Society has ridiculed him for his feminine traits like his “pretty” face his whole life. However, Harding remains a relatively confident person. From the moment he is introduced in the novel, the reader can tell he is a natural leader. When McMurphy enters the ward, he looks for the person in charge. Billy, another patient, informs him that it is Harding, who, while they are talking, “...leans back in his chair and assumes an important look,”(Kesey 20). Although he exuberates confidence in many areas of the book, the long term feeling of disapproval by society has caused him to feel self
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