Comparing and Contrasting Cuckoo and Stepford Wives
Both One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and The Stepford Wives share cardinal themes that tie them together despite their many differences. The settings are very different with one being a quiet Connecticut town full of perfect women and their husbands and the other an insanity ward filled with committed mental patients and societies rejects. Powerful characters with strong desires unite the two stories. The antagonistic desire for power, the Hero’s struggle against the system, and the systematic manipulation of denizens are shared points between both Stepford Wives and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
An antagonistic desire for power is one key theme shared between both Stepford Wives and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. The antagonist in Cuckoo is the head of the hospital ward Nurse Ratched. In Stepford the antagonist is Claire Wellington. There are some key differences and similarities between Claire and the Nurse. Both Claire and the Nurse want total power but they have different ruling styles. The nurse rules with an iron fist and consolidates her power with threats of lobotomies or trips to the “shock shop” and by keeping the patients as unknowledgeable as possible. Bromden offers some insight into the matter, “They got enough of those things they call pills down me so I don't know a thing till I hear the ward door open”(8). The nurse keeps her patients uniformed so that they have no choice but to follow her blindly. Claire is a behind the curtain leader who hides her power from the public and lets her husband Mike appear to the leader. Claire and the nurse also gain power in different ways the nurse draws her power from fear. Claire has gained her power from years of intimidation and force. One similarity between Claire and the nurse is that they are both powerful women. The antagonistic desire for power is one of the key themes in both stories. Both stories feature the systematic manipulation of...
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