Examples Of Social Isolation In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

1899 Words8 Pages
Sophia Girault
Mrs. Malanka
Psych and Lit, Per. 7
11 December 2017
Society Isolation in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, there is much controversy and bias present throughout the characters in the Combine. The patients have been rejected and forgotten about by society and left to rot with the antithesis of femininity: Nurse Ratched. But even Ratched isn’t immune to the scrutiny of the outside world, and she has to claw her way into power and constantly fight to keep it. With his own experiences and the societal ideals of the 1960’s, Ken Kesey displays how society isolates and ostracizes those who do not follow the social norms or viewed as inferior to the white american males.
Ken Kesey grew up in a family
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She remains constant throughout the book, being authoritative and strict over the patients and staff.
Gender roles were a huge part of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, because women were terribly mistreated and were expected to be feminine, while men were expected to be masculine. Powerful women were demonized and powerful men were considered to be normal, "Women were considered domestic caregivers, with sole responsibility for the home and child rearing, while men ‘brought home the bacon’” (Holt 1). Women were expected to remain home with their families and take care of the household while the husband would pursue a career. If women didn't abide by these norms, they were ostracized and alienated from the rest of society. Bromden’s relationship with his mother shows the negative depiction of powerful women. Bromden’s mother constantly undermines Bromden’s father who was once a powerful man, and she also controls her husband by using her maiden name for the family’s last name, instead of the traditional way where the husband’s name is used for the family’s last name. As a result, this makes Bromden’s father feel weak, powerless, and hopeless, depicting that just because
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Native Americans in the 1960's were still seen as "savages" and less educated than white people: “After the 1960s civil rights movement led by African Americans, many Native Americans also pushed for more civil rights and renewed what many see as their original struggle to force the U.S. to keep its promises to native peoples" (Faville). They are treated as second-class citizens and fought for civil rights alongside african-americans in the 1960's movement. Chief recognizes that being a Native American doesn't give him any bonus points in society: "They don’t bother not talking out loud about their hate secrets when I’m nearby because they think I’m deaf and dumb. Everybody thinks so. I’m cagey enough to fool them that much. If my being half Indian ever helped me in any way in this dirty life, it helped me being cagey, helped me all these years” (Kesey 1). The one thing that his heritage does help him with is acting like a mental patient in the ward. This shows how badly society treats Native Americans: "I thought at first that he was laughing because of how funny it looked, an Indian’s face and black, oily Indians hair on somebody like me. I thought maybe he was laughing at how weak I looked” (Kesey 18). Chief is so conditioned to hate and torment from people in society that he automatically assumes that he's being made fun of when McMurphy begins to laugh

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