Examples Of Conscience In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Conscience: Innate or Acquired? When attempting to determine how an individual’s moral compass is constructed, there are a number of theories to consider. Freudian philosophy suggests that the early years of a person’s life are crucial in shaping components of their psyche. Most can agree on this concept, but the question is, does physical environment or independent psychological evolution ultimately influence that development? Based on the characters in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, The Glass Castle, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, it is demonstrated that various environmental factors do in fact frame one’s conscience, but also that events and societal pressures later in life can change that. For example, …show more content…

Due to their disorders, the characters were routinely subject to stereotyping and unjustified categorizations. Most of the patients had settled with the oppressive nature of the sanitarium until Randle McMurphy was introduced. When McMurphy was admitted into the hospital, he immediately displayed his anti-authoritative tendencies, which were completely foreign to the environment. McMurphy’s actions soon persuaded them to question authority and society as they never had before. The patients had grown accustomed to the humiliation brought on by the head nurse (and woman in charge of the facility), Miss Ratched. The mild chaos that erupted in response to his actions raised concern among the staff members, who at one point discussed whether or not he should be sent for more intensive treatment. During that same meeting, another doctor suggested that he may be just a shrewd con man,and not mentally ill at all (Kesey 136). This conversation pointed out the staff’s inability to really differentiate between mental illnesses, and their tendency to diagnose purely based on opinion or convenience. The idea that the designated sources of credibility in the adult world are occasionally unreliable is applicable to life on a much larger scale (as many theories presented in the novel were). Toward the end, the patients began to recognize that much of what they …show more content…

Jeanette’s parents, especially her mother, opposed domesticity and encouraged self-sufficiency (Walls, 77). This concept influenced her children to fend for themselves, more often than not because their living conditions required them to. This book is comparable to Kesey’s in the sense that the main characters are introduced as societal outcasts. Over time they re-evaluated themselves and their lifestyles, and in the end they make a decision about whether or not they agreed with the standards that were predetermined for them. While they consisted of a similar conflict, the two novels ended with the characters coming to completely different conclusions. Jeanette’s negative experiences with her family’s way of living drove her to take a more “typical” route in her adult life, while as the characters in Cuckoo’s Nest outgrew the restraints brought on by society, and freed

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