Similarities Between One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest And Dead Poets Society

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Dead Poet Society explore the struggle for independence through characters who are subject to an environment in which they are rewarded for their conformity. Dead Poet Society outlines the complications of young students at Welton Academy after a respected English teacher named Mr. Keating inspires them to seize the day. However, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest explore the events that transpire in a mental institute after an exceedingly ‘difficult’ patient arrives and the impact this has on Chief Bromden. Both texts critically explore the struggle for independence.

Weir and Kesey explore the struggle for independence through how the setting changes as the plots of the two texts progress. In Dead Poet Society
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Tradition, Honour, Discipline, Excellence; are the four pillars that are apparent in Dead Poets Society, Weir uses this symbol alongside the symbol of uniform to show how the students at Welton Academy are subject to conform to these rules. Similarly, in OFOTCN Kesey uses the fog that constantly surrounds Chief and the patients on the ward. Chief claims it is ‘made’ by Nurse Ratched. Because we know that Chief is schizophrenic and sees this that are not literally there, we recognize that the fog may be medically induced and is a fog of the mind rather than a literal fog. It keeps the patients from rising up in rebellion against Nurse Ratched but is also keeps them satisfied with their lives and prevent them ever thinking for themselves. The way Nurse Ratched controls the patients of her ward is very similar to the way Principle Nolan controls his students. Weir and Kesey use these characters and these symbols as tools or techniques to illustrate the difficulty around the struggle for independence. The uniform, pillars, and the fog are all symbols that help them live in that way but they prevents them from ever trying to improve their situations. As Chief says, “the men hide behind the fog because it is comfortable.” Weir and Kesey are using the symbols as a technique to explain the idea that you can live comfortably when dependent…show more content…
Consider McMurphy and Mr. Keating, both characters are very similar in a multitude of ways. Neither of them is in charge as they are both under their respective antagonist, either being Nurse Ratched or Principle Nolan. However throughout the progression of each plot, they both teach and inspire either the patients or the students to become individuals. McMurphy gave the patients the ability to seize back the power from Nurse Ratched through showing them the way how, and teaching the patients that they are their own person and have their own rights. Mr. Keating teaches the students how to be outside the box, as shown when in class he strays from the regular methods of teaching and shows the students a truly out-of-the-box concept about life, “Carpe Diem.” Towards the final moments of the plot, both characters achieve a full commitment to their cause that eventuates in self-sacrifice. McMurphy is lobotomized and Mr. Keating is fired from Welton Academy. However similarly in both plots, after both characters sacrifices themselves they pass on what they have learned and allowed others to beat their struggle for independence. Chief leaves the institution and the students stand up against Principle Nolan with what they believe in. Weir and Kesey use these characters to inspire and support those who struggle for independence and use their characterization as a technique to do so.

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