Essay On One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Keesey uses the setting of the mental asylum as the basis to portray his ideas and views on the condition of life in America in the 1950’s. The main and recurring theme in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is that the idea of The American Dream is not that great and that this type of life is maybe not for everybody and who should say that someone is mad or not just because they do not conform to the norm. By using the fictional setting of the mental asylum and comparing it to society now, shows us how hypocritical the American Dream was, the literary term for this is ‘microcosm’- a small society representative of a larger one. Very early in the story it is evident that there is a great deal of oppression taking place on the ward, some of this is physical, but the most harmful is the psychological oppression that is inflicted on the patients taking …show more content…

This can also be seen in society, we are conditioned to follow a certain path and deviation from that path is frowned upon. This includes what job you chose, lifestyle choices, your economic status, your opinions, as much as we may think these are our own choices we are swayed and steered by society’s expectations along a certain pathway. As in the book if people deviate to far of the expected norm they will face retribution and punishment and will be ostracised for showing individualism. We may like to believe that we are part of a true free society but there are always limitations to this, by Keesey basing the story in the mental asylum this shows the hypocrisies of society. In the film, Jack Nicholson’s character highlights this with the following

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