Nurse Ratched’s iron-fisted authority and extensive regulations are a direct representation of the way society uses rules and social norms to control the individual. Everything about Ra...
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...res society employs to keep people docile and impressionable are punished. Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a prime example of those perspectives. Nurse Ratched used rules and psychological abuse to chip away at the individualism of her patients and gain power over them. McMurphy showed these oppressed people how to combat their oppressor and think for themselves. He was punished by Ratched, but served as a martyr for freedom and inspired Bromden to reject his imprisonment and escape the institution. However, we are forced to question whether Bromden actually escaped and on top of that, whether or not escape is even possible. The open-endedness of the story leaves the reader to question their individual essence, how they are being affected by their society, and if human beings are able to completely reject society while maintaining their individuality.
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