One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Conformity Essay

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The literary classic, One That Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey serves as tool of enlightenment on the issue of individuals being oppressed by higher powers of society. The purpose of Kesey’s novel is to illustrate how society gives labels to people who are divergent in order to force conformity. This idea of man vs. society exemplified through several different methods. The first of these methods is the narrative, which is told from the perspective of a man deemed "insane” by society, despite the actual able state of his mind. Additionally, the story’s setting is an asylum, which is symbolic of humans in society are in a larger asylum, where they are controlled by various factors. Lastly, there is Randle McMurphy, who is the hero of the novel, representative of…show more content…
Overall, when these factors are synthesized, the result is a vintage novel that portrays the struggle of the differing individual against the conformity of society. Foremost, the entire story is narrated by Chief Bromden, a man who has been labelled mentally ill, by society. Chief Bromden recounts the story in an unbiased first person narrative, as it appears to him, despite his paranoia and hallucinations. His unique state of mind breeds wise observation on the deceptive reality of the hospital, and society at large. As Bromden acts as if he is deaf and dumb, he gains secret information that is kept from the patients. These acts prove, alone that he has been unfairly characterized by society as insane. He clearly shows a higher level of perception than that of a mentally ill individual. The progression of Chief Bromden from fearful, quite and passive, to the man who puts McMurphy out of his misery, and ultimately escapes

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