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How Have Your Novels Explored The Relationship Between The Individuals And Their Societies?

1997 words - 8 pages

The relationships between the individuals and their societies are explored in: Riders in the Chariot by Patrick White, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, and The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. Each of these novels portrays a different society and an individual who is outside that society. There are three different societies portrayed in four novels - the Government (A Clockwork Orange), the Small Town Society (The Sound and the Fury and Riders in the Chariot) and, finally, the Enclosed Society (a society within the society in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). These three different societies treat individuals in the exact same way - they see them as evil and dangerous and unacceptable and, in most cases, try to change them.The authors show us several different ways in which the society makes the individual an outsider. This is usually due to any deference of the individual from the standards of normality. The three brothers from The Sound and the Fury, Benjy, Quentin and Jason are, respectively, an imbecile, insane, and a neurotic. The major characters in Riders in the Chariot, Miss Hare, Mordecai Himmelfarb, Mrs Godbold and Alf Dubbo, are different from the Ordinary Society of the Australian small town Sarsaparilla in the sense that they reach spiritual enlightenment through suffering. The main character of A Clockwork Orange, Alex, is an average youth accepted by other youths, but unable to fit into the adult world. The protagonist of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Randle McMurphy, is an outsider in a mental asylum. He is different from the other patients because he is normal and unafraid of the world Outside (outside the asylum, that is), whereas the other patients are. He also refuses to conform to the "Ward policy" enforced by Nurse Ratched (the head nurse of the ward, who oppresses the patients in any way she can).The general idea portrayed in all the novels is that society dislikes individuality. This is, perhaps, due to the fact that individuals do not care what the society thinks and this self-assuredness seems threatening to the society. Society often either persecutes individuals or tries to change them or makes them feel guilty for being so different without them being able to do anything about it. Whatever the case may be, there is not one single occurrence when the society has made an individual feel accepted and welcome because of his difference. Difference is usually seen by the society as something malevolent, dangerous or simply evil. This is opposed to the socially acceptable evil, like Dr Brodsky, the leader of the Reclamation Treatment administered to Alex in prison. Another example is Nurse Ratched. Their evil is supported and made good by the argument that what they do they do for the good of the society.This idea tends to show that true individuals have a lot of strength and faith in themselves, are very set in what they believe in and refuse to be hypocritical or...

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