Summary Of ' One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest ' Essay

Summary Of ' One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest ' Essay

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Good evening and welcome to tonight’s episode of Learning Literature. Tonight we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Gattaca by analysing the techniques text producers employ to construct representations of social issues relating to marginalised groups. We will focus on two classic pieces of literature, Ken Kessey’s, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, as well as Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca. Through a range of techniques, the text producers have included representations of freedom and independence, power, as well as discrimination in each of their respective texts.

One of the more apparent themes seen in both texts is that of discrimination against marginalised groups. Both texts send a clear message, that regardless of the circumstances, society will always find ways to discriminate. At the height of the Cold War in the 60s, when Cuckoo’s Nest was published, distrust, and hence segregation of marginalised groups, was at an all-time high. That meant that this kind of message would have been easily relatable and appealing to the society of the time. The main technique that was used to present this theme to the audience was plot construction. This is extremely apparent in Gattaca, which is set in a dystopian society where discrimination is not based on religion, ethnicity or even wealth, but on genetics. In this society, manipulation of your child’s genes to remove any flaws has become commonplace, making perfection the minimum standard. This lead to discrimination against those with imperfect genes, referred to as “In-valids”, who struggle to break free of the confinement society places on them. This is especially apparent in the character of Vincent Freeman, an aspiring astronaut who is forced to fake his genetic profile in or...


... middle of paper ...


...itself is in the shape of a double helix, the shape of DNA. This climb symbolises him overcoming the limitations society has placed on him due to his damaged body. Once he reaches the top, the power dynamic changes in his favour, as he becomes in control of the situation. It isn’t surprising that power played such a large role in Gattaca. With racial unrest very prominent throughout the decade, the power imbalance that marginalised groups faced was a perfect mirror of society at the time.


I’m afraid that all the time we have for tonight. Thanks for joining us, and we will see you next time.






















Race riots discrimination genetics


What is the message? – Social issue/convepts/ideas/values
How was it constructed? – Techniques/identities/aesthetic features
Why was it constructed? – conext/time and place/audience/influence/attitudes/perspectives


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