Sexism In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Sexism is the root of many problems in society, and this paper is going to expose the root of many of the ideas about women that society has created. It is a reasonable assumption that many pieces of classic literature, read for many generations keep many negative stereotypes about women alive. Some examples of characters that embody these negative female stereotypes are Gertrude from Hamlet and Big Nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Both of these novels include women in positions of authority, that lose a bit of their power because of the men surrounding them. Gertrude is ridiculed for being too expressive of her sexuality which seems to make the people of her kingdom believe she is not a worthy leader, while Big Nurse is ridiculed for the exact opposite. The constant stereotyping of women in novels such as Hamlet and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, fuels sexism in readers by insisting that expression of femininity equates to a lack of power.
Although, power is not everything, and not every woman is in a position of power, it is important that young women see women doing important things and being in positions of authority. The problem with many writers creating their own “powerful women” is that they make them all evil trash out to destroy everyone in their way. This is just one example of writers using the same tired, archetypal
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She has the most power of anyone in the ward, but loses some of her power because of some of the terrible misogynistic men living in the ward. Their actions lead her to believe it is necessary to hide her sexuality so that the men will still regard her with some respect. Author Theodora-Ann Hague explains Big Nurse’s thought process in saying “In order to cope in a society where she is vulnerable and powerless due to her gender, Ratched attempts to conceal her femininity totally...” (Hague,

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