Sexuality In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest And A Street Car Named Desire

2188 words - 9 pages

In What ways is Sexuality portrayed as central to the conflicts of
the individual-v-society in Ken Kesey's One flew over the cuckoo's
nest and Tennessee Williams A street car named desire?

In What ways is Sexuality portrayed as central to the conflicts of the
individual-v-society in Ken Kesey's 'One flew over the cuckoo's nest'
and Tennessee Williams 'A street car named desire'?

The capacity of sexual feelings within the individual is central to
both the development and fundamental basis of any significant
character. As observed in both 'One flew over the cuckoos nest' (AKA
Cuckoo's nest) and 'A Street car named desire' (AKA. St. car)
sexuality emerges as a principal device used in defining a character
to the audience. By the reliance on and close association of the text
with the stereotypical characters found within society, the characters
presented to the audience can be made more identifiable with. The
physical description of a character can therefore be said to be
symbolic of its sexuality, "Broad across the jaw shoulders and chest"[1]
and in likening a description to a stereotype "I fight and fuh..too
much"[2] this can be greater reinforced. As you can see the physical
description of McMurphy is twinned with boastful memoirs of his
masculinity via his sexual prowess. This also being evident in St. car
with the introduction of the character Stanley Kowalski, "blood
stained package"[3] is symbolic of the instinctive masculine act of
the hunter-gatherer, this in collaboration with the description that
precedes it "Roughly dressed in blue denim work clothes"[4] suggests
to the audience that Stanley, like McMurphy is a strongly masculine
heterosexual male. The connotations that stem from the appearance of
both characters reinforce their image, thus assigning them with the
recognisable stereotype of a virile and rebellious male. Their
appearances can consequently be said to be greatly symbolic of their
role within the narrative. The use of colour is also symbolic of
character sexuality "Red hots!!" or "face and neck the colour of
oxblood leather", Red is symbolic of passion and is connected to
McMurphy and Stanley, whereas the colours "ivory"[5] and "pale blue"[6]
are used in describing the weaker characters that deny sexuality. The
individuals' role within the narrative is dependant on the conflict
that arises, in these texts, due to variations within their own
sexuality and society's subsequent reactions. Sexual imagery also
surrounds the characters; McMurphey and Stanley further giving, once
more, indication of their sexuality "big stiff thumb" or "having those
coloured lights going", more subtly there is also animalistic imagery
"Stanley stalks fiercely". The images constructed are emblematic of
the characters sexuality in the same way as the physical descriptions
previously. Sexuality being established in a variety of ways to then
allow a character to be fully established, in doing so a...

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