Discourses Of Conformity In One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest And Advice To Young Ladies

1171 words - 5 pages

Throughout the novel ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ written by Ken Kesey, and the poem ‘Advice to Young Ladies’ crafted by A.D. Hope, there is evidence to suggest that the discourses represented by the characters in the novel and poem unveil the ways discourses of conformity underpin the characters’ actions, perceptions and motives, as well as inviting and silencing beliefs, attitudes and values. The author and poet are able to strongly convey their beliefs to the reader from their personal experiences. The four dominant discourses that both the novel and poem share and represents: conformity, sexuality and religious. These will be analysed and compared.

The dominant discourse of conformity is characterised predominantly by influencing to obey rules described by Kesey’ novel ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. At the start of the novel, all the acute and the silence chronic conform to Nurse Ratched’s rules before the arrival of McMurphy. Since, she was in complete control over the ward until McMurphy arrived. After he arrived, he begins to take control of the patients. He begins to take the role of leader, a leader that was unexpected. Kesey has foregrounded the character, McMurphy to be different thus creating a binary opposite that is represented in the novel. Kesey shows the binary opposites as being good versus evil. The former represents the con man McMurphy, and the latter represents the head nurse, Nurse Ratched. An example of this would be, “She’s carrying her wicker bag…a bag shape of a tool box with a hemp handle…” (pg.4), showing that Nurse Ratched is a mechanic. McMurphy is portrayed as being a good character by revitalising the hope of the patients by strangling Nurse Ratched. This revitalise the hope for the patients as McMurphy defuses her power. “Advice to Young Ladies”, crafted by A.D. Hope provides a contrast with this conformity discourse illustrated by Kesey.

Power and sexuality are discourses that are depicted by the novel. One of Kesey’s central messages is how McMurphy creates a power and a sexuality structure requiring conformity. In the novel, McMurphy is positioned to be on top in the power play between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched. This can be exemplified by “Nurse Ratched started popping her mouth and looking for her black boys, scared to death, but McMurphy stopped before he got to her!” (pg.186), clearly demonstrates that McMurphy is on top in the power play. Another example is at the end of the novel when McMurphy attacks the Nurse Ratched by ripping her clothes and exposes her breasts would be “…When he grabbed for her and ripped her uniform all the way down the front, screaming again when the two nippled circles started from her chest and swelled out…’ (pg.303-304) McMurphy defuses her power by showing her sexual identity as a woman. The visible sight of her femininity allows male patients to act more like men. Therefore, Kesey has privileged and endorsed the power discourse throughout the novel.

The...

Find Another Essay On Discourses of Conformity in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest and Advice to Young Ladies

Parallels Between the Life of Ken Kesey and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

1175 words - 5 pages [he] thought [himself] to be a God” (Kesey 740). During his time as leader of the Merry Pranksters many people thought Ken Kesey to be some sort of God (Reilly). The parallels between McMurphy and Kesey are by far the most prominent throughout the book. The life of Ken Kesey is clearly reflected in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest through the setting and various character escapades. The hallucinogenic experiences he shares with the narrator Chief

Control And Order As A Metaphor For Social Order In One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

700 words - 3 pages "It don't make a bit of sense to me. If that's what bein' crazy is, than I'm senseless, out of it, gone down the road whacko. But no more, no less." In this telling and ultimately ironic statement, Jack Nicholson, as Randall Patrick McMurphy, reveals one of the underlying questions of Milos Forman's 1975 adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: what does it really mean to be crazy? Set in a psychological institution, the film presents a

Metaphors of Society in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

754 words - 3 pages her, including the racial politics and prejudicial attitudes that pervaded her life. This silence could be compared with both the self-chosen silence of “The Chief” in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, as well as the silent masses in BoxR 17;s book, which are also chastised for their fear to exert their own powers and make their voices heard. Jo Ann Robinson had no qualms about making her voice heard and doing everything she could to instigate

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

4124 words - 16 pages dictatorship to the man under her jurisdiction, (Searles, and Kesey, p. 3). It has also been vividly described that the institution of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest exercises the act of institutional control over human dignity by categorizing those who are insane in order to treat them and critically to rehabilitate them. In contrast to this point, this view of having a rehabilitation program for the insane has not been well emphasized. It has been

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

2803 words - 11 pages the 21st century where people are restricted due to minor mental defects and are stripped of their basic rights. There is a lack of funding and importance given to mental sanitariums because mental patients are not believed to be normal humans. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey patients are treated as secondary humans and their needs are not put first. They are not given a voice and their basic rights are taken from them. The book

Hero in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

717 words - 3 pages Hero in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey Randle Patrick McMurphy, the main character in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, is the perfect example of a hero. He is committed to a mental institution after faking insanity to get out of a work camp. From the beginning of his presence on the ward, things start to change. He brings in laughter, gambling, profanity and he begins to get the other patients to open up. All of

Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange

2692 words - 11 pages permitted other forms of entertainment such as playing cards or fishing. Despite that, the purpose behind deteriorating the culture in society remains the same: both authorities wish to keep entitlement away from the masses and have only power only for themselves. The male patients in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest have significantly less freedom than the young men in A Clockwork Orange due to the different portrayals of women. Firstly, the female

Style and Setting in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

1142 words - 5 pages One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest written by Ken Kesey in 1962. This novel is based on the experience Ken Kesey had during his time working in a mental institution as an orderly. Ken Kesey’s novel is a powerful critique of early 1960’s American society. The three main techniques that Kesey uses to create the Tragic form. In this novel Kesey has used the three main technique to create an inevitable conflict and outcomes that is similar to tragedy

Madness in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Hamlet"

3069 words - 12 pages every day and was confident that it was natural response to the overall madness of the corporate America. Shakespeare on the contrary, focused on the completely opposite side of the mental madness: through "Hamlet" he wanted to show that in degree of publicity mental disorders can harm observers. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was written and set at the period when people outside the mainstream were often looked at with some suspicion

Theme study (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 and Bless the Beasts and Children) the study of individuality vs. conformity

1092 words - 4 pages My investigation examined the theme of individuality vs. conformity. The texts I have chosen gave an effective portrayal of this. The texts I selected included 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest' by Ken Kesey, 'Bless the Beasts and Children' by Glendon Swarthout, 'Fahrenheit 451'by Ray Bradbury and 'Brave New World' a novel by Aldous Huxley. Each of these texts expressed the theme of individuality vs. conformity in a different way depending on the

one flew over the cucoos nest

1007 words - 4 pages patients and Kesey’s tone throughout the novel. The setting of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a mental institution, in the countryside of Oregon during the 1960’s. At this time young Americans began to challenge conformity and live their lives around peace, love and drugs. LSD was a drug used both during the political uprising and in the novel as treatment for mental disorders. Kesey discusses how the world within the ward mirrors the world

Similar Essays

Discourses Of Conformity In One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest And Advice To Young Ladies

1203 words - 5 pages Discourses of Conformity in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Advice to Young Ladies Any text, despite an appearance of neutrality, is underpinned by specific discourses. Throughout the novel One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest written by Ken Kesey, and the poem Advice to Young Ladies crafted by A.D. Hope, there is evidence to suggest that the discourses represented by the characters in both text unveil the ways discourses of conformity

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

893 words - 4 pages One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Written by Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was published in 1967 by Penguin Books. This story was written based on the author’s experience while working in a mental institution. He held long conversations with the inmates in order to gain a better understanding of them. It was during this period that he wrote the first draft of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Most of the characters in the novel

Utopia In One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

854 words - 3 pages Utopian Society In the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey there is a power struggle between two characters; McMurphy and Big Nurse. McMurphy wants equal power for everyone in the ward, while Big Nurse wants herself to have all the power. In Terms of power Ken Kesey portrays McMurphy as communist. He also portrays big nurse as a capitalist. A communist is one who wants one single class. A Capitalist is one who wants many classes

Freedom In Beloved, Secrets And Lies, And One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

2109 words - 8 pages of restricted by one’s past or future.  But in the society that we live in today, true and total freedom does not work.  By analyzing the novel Beloved and the two movies Secrets and Lies and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, I will show how total freedom has led to the death or demise of the characters in all three of these pieces of expression. In the society we live in many laws have been put into place to aid in ones pursuit of