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Nurse Ratched's Panopticism

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Foucault expresses that the control over the people in the Panopticon is not forceful, but rather psychological; however, Nurse Ratched shows both forceful and psychological control during the novel. Foucault states that people in a Panopticon are all controlled by authority, but in a psychological manner. He believes “it is not necessary to use force” (323) since those in a Panopticon control themselves. The idea of being isolated in a cell with unknown people watching over the prisoners can cause a sense of concern, which results in good behavior. While this control is psychological, Nurse Ratched’s power to bring patients to the Disturbed Ward, a surgical ward, or Shock Shop, electroshock therapy, when she pleases reveals the force she uses in the ward over the…show more content…
While Panopticism shows how he believes society is based on the idea of a structural civilization run by unknown hierarchy, Kesey’s novel does not exemplify this theory, mostly due to when the character McMurphy enters the picture at the ward and questions authority. When McMurphy enters, the psychological control from Nurse Ratched decreases as the patients realize there is more to life than just the small confinements of the ward. Even though Kesey’s novel does not use the idea of Panopticism, it is still very well used throughout daily life. One must understand even though they live in a free land, they still are watched by their every move with surveillance systems. Whether in large shopping areas or just walking down the street, our actions are always being watched by unknown people; that’s what makes Panopticism real to today. Even when people do not notice, their little actions are a reflection of their surroundings in life. A person should always remember that even if they believe their certain actions are insignificant, someone may always be watching their every
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