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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Quote Analysis

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‘Challenging the status quo is not always a good idea.’ Discuss with reference to Ken Kesey’s ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’.
Breaking conformity and the strict rules of an oppressive power does not always lead to freedom and liberation often ending instead in further suppression as displayed through Ken Kesey’s novel ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. Kesey uses an extensive range of literary techniques to display the negative and harmful consequences of defiance against the conventions of a dominant society. Nurse Ratched has created her idea of a functional society and punishes patients when they do not fit this mold, stripping them of their individuality. Ultimately Billy Bibbit’s hope and courage are destroyed after he commits a sinful …show more content…

Each man in the hospital is different in some way with imperfections that disrupt the Big Nurse’s picture of a functional society. The patients don’t conform to Nurse Ratched’s idea of normal and as a result she punishes them, using manipulation to convince them that they are unable to function correctly outside the controlling walls of the ward. McMurphy notices this and after finding out that most patients aren’t committed states “Jesus, I mean you guys do nothing but complain about how you can’t stand it in this place here and then you haven’t got the guts just to walk out? What do you think you are for Christ sake, crazy or something? Well, you’re not! You’re not! You’re no crazier than the average asshole out walking around on the streets.” The men in the mental hospital may be different but, as McMurphy explains, they are not crazy. Nurse Ratched however convinces the men that they are insane and punishes them for their flaws by stripping them of their freedom, manipulating them to remain in her hospital with her strict rules. In this way Kesey uses the hospital as a microcosm where there are sever punishments for not conforming to the ideal mold for a person, shaped by societal

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