Conformity In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Essay

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Conformity: the word that brings fear into some minds and relaxation in others. Throughout the world’s history, the idea of authoritarianism has consumed many political leaders’ agendas. The premise behind the idea of conformity is the betterment of society; however, it has been proven to create a hostile atmosphere as showcased in Ken Kesey’s fiction novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Prevalent during the decade of the 60s, authoritarianism commanded society. Because the United States was dominated by white superiority, citizens feared those who looked and acted differently than the norm. This mindset made people socially conform to who and what they were comfortable with. They were blinded by the fear of the unknown and unable to realize …show more content…
Conformity breaks down a person mentally and emotionally. However, if someone is against the idea of conformity, he automatically resents the higher power. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, McMurphy is in a constant battle with the antagonist of the story, Nurse Ratched. Subtly forcing the patients to conform, Nurse Ratched strives to keep her ward in order when McMurphy tries to disrupt the hospital floor. In the final part of the book, McMurphy is outraged that two patients have died due to the horrific system Nurse Ratched employs. Without thinking, McMurphy attempts to strangle Nurse Ratched with all his strength (Kesey 319). The hostility between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched builds throughout the book, but this moment signifies the loss of power from the dictator-like characteristics of the Big Nurse. By strangling the life out of Ratched, McMurphy unveils how conformity is life threatening, literally and figuratively. In fact, the anger that conformity invokes will heighten stress and panic, which then allows heart attacks to take place (Kam). Forcing conformity upon a person will only make someone less likely to comply with rules and regulations, causing the tension between two opposing groups to grow

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