Insanity In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's

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Ken Kesey’s book titled “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” encapsulates the theme of insanity. The book questions not only the reader, but humanity on “What is insanity?” and therefore “What makes a person insane?”. An example of these moral questions is best displayed in the quote “Tell me why. You gripe, you bitch for weeks on end about how you can’t stand this place, can’t stand the nurse or anything about her, and all the time you ain’t committed. I can understand it with some of those old guys on the ward. They’re nuts. But you, you’re not exactly the everyday man on the street, but you’re not nuts.” [McMurphy pg.195]. Throughout the book, we, as the reader, can see that there is a fine line between normality and insanity. In fact, the…show more content…
They both face institutionalization. Institutionalization is the action of establishing something as a convention or norm in an organization or culture. The inmates in these stories get so accustomed to the horrible systems in place where they do not want change. This is a prominent theme in both Frank Darabont’s “Shawshank Redemption” and Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Before the arrival of our protagonist's life is dull and hope is dismal. For example, daily medications given by Nurse Ratched or “You eat when we say you eat, you shit when we say you shit, and you piss when we say you piss.”[Hadley, The Shawshank Redemption]. The protagonists seek to change this life and inspire those around them to do the same. For example, in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” McMurphy is shocked by most of his fellow inmates not wanting to leave after they’ve been conditioned to believe they are not fit to be a part of society “...you bitch for weeks on end about how you can’t stand this place, can’t stand the nurse or anything about her...you’re not exactly the everyday man on the street, but you’re not nuts.” [McMurphy, pg. 195]. Shawshank also shows the effects of institutionalization on man. In the film, Brooks, the oldest inmate at Shawshank, is released on parole. However, on finding this out he attempts to kill one of his friends. He is so used to these walls, and so scared of the outside world where he’d rather kill his friend and stay in the prison than go out into the world. “These walls are funny. First, you hate ‘em, then you get used to ‘em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized.” [Red, The Shawshank Redemption]. Andy, however, fights institutionalization with the one thing he believes in: hope. “That there’s something inside… that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s

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