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Why Rebel When It Is Easier To Conform

630 words - 3 pages

An individual cannot truly know the mental effect of feeling alone in a total institution made for re-socialization with no one to trust until they have experienced it themselves. It is one of those experiences that leave a person confused and frustrated and rebellion seems to be the only way towards freedom other than death. This is where a person must decide between conformity and resistance, each of which comes with severe consequences. By conforming, one gives up their sense of independence and identity in order to gain acceptance, but by resisting one gives up their acceptance to gain a sense of independence and identity. This is exactly what happens to William Figueres in The Halfway House by Guillermo Rosales and Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. In both books, conformity ultimately triumphs over any resistance. It is easier and more beneficial for an individual to conform to the whims of the oppressor rather than rebelling. The oppressors/institutions understand that in order to gain social control they need to make their target forget about their previous life, be completely immersed in their new “role in society”, and realize that this is their future.
In order for an institution to make an individual conform, they need to know what kind of person they’re dealing with and the way to do this is to gather key information from that person’s past. For Nurse Ratched, the antagonist in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, she does this by obtaining McMurphy’s medical records along with the information on his criminal record. This allows the reader to get an initial judgement on Nurse Ratched as a calculating and manipulative person. She is shown as a person that is extremely professional, even immersed in what she does and this allows her to block out...

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