Theme Of Marginalization In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Within the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, two of the main themes are borders and marginalization. These themes are found within the various characters within this story, which lead to readers being able to clearly see the effects of this marginalization. Throughout the story, readers see a female-tyrant rule over those below her in a hierarchical setup. This leads to a clear separation of male and female characters. In this novel, the author is able to convey a sense of separation as well as slight misogyny with his use of borders and margins. First off, the setting itself is a clear example of a larger border that separates the characters from the rest of the world. This story takes place in a psychiatric hospital, which is a place where its inhabitants have little freedom. The main character, Randle McMurphy, has found himself in a situation of being separated from society no matter what. This is because, of course, he is a criminal and would rather do his time in a psychiatric hospital as…show more content…
Most of the women are portrayed negatively and often referred to as either “bitch” or “ball-cutter.” Specifically, the head of the hospital ward, Nurse Ratched, is often targeted. In an ironic twist, the only nicely-portrayed female characters in this story are the two “whores” that come down to take the men fishing. This is interesting because even though the men seem to like these two women, they still refer to them as “whores.” However, the interesting aspect of marginalization in this story comes in two forms. These two forms are both based on gender roles. The men in the story are marginalized because they are all patients in a mental ward. This leads them to be considered less than others in society because they are locked up and have very little free will. The women in the story are marginalized by the men because they are considered cruel and are also the
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