Discourses of Conformity in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest and Advice to Young Ladies

Better Essays
Throughout the novel ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ written by Ken Kesey, and the poem ‘Advice to Young Ladies’ crafted by A.D. Hope, there is evidence to suggest that the discourses represented by the characters in the novel and poem unveil the ways discourses of conformity underpin the characters’ actions, perceptions and motives, as well as inviting and silencing beliefs, attitudes and values. The author and poet are able to strongly convey their beliefs to the reader from their personal experiences. The four dominant discourses that both the novel and poem share and represents: conformity, sexuality and religious. These will be analysed and compared.

The dominant discourse of conformity is characterised predominantly by influencing to obey rules described by Kesey’ novel ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. At the start of the novel, all the acute and the silence chronic conform to Nurse Ratched’s rules before the arrival of McMurphy. Since, she was in complete control over the ward until McMurphy arrived. After he arrived, he begins to take control of the patients. He begins to take the role of leader, a leader that was unexpected. Kesey has foregrounded the character, McMurphy to be different thus creating a binary opposite that is represented in the novel. Kesey shows the binary opposites as being good versus evil. The former represents the con man McMurphy, and the latter represents the head nurse, Nurse Ratched. An example of this would be, “She’s carrying her wicker bag…a bag shape of a tool box with a hemp handle…” (pg.4), showing that Nurse Ratched is a mechanic. McMurphy is portrayed as being a good character by revitalising the hope of the patients by strangling Nurse Ratched. This revitalise the hope for the pa...

... middle of paper ... torn from her was quite distinct in line 19 to 24: “A vestal virgin who scandalized that town Had fair trial, then they buried her alive? Alive, bricked up in suffocating dark, A ration of bread, a pitcher if she was dry, Preserved the body they did not wish to die Until her mind was quenched to the last spark.”, clearly this was the religious belief that the Vestal Virgin has. In conclusion, this complements the religious discourse in Kesey’s novel.

From the arguments and supporting evidence presented throughout this essay, it can be established that throughout the novel and poem, both contain similar conformity discourse. The novel ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, written by Ken Kesey and the poem ‘Advice to Young Ladies’ crafted by A.D. Hope, represent the in comparable ways thus creating a blend of parallel discourse of power, sexuality and religious.
Get Access