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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Critical Analysis

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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Critical Analysis
The advancement of technology over the last decade has been used to further security methods in society. Devices such as surveillance systems in stores have caught suspects and decreased crime, but only by a mere 0.05% (Welsh, Farrington) (specifically in Chicago, which currently has 15,000 cameras throughout the city). So, does this implementation of surveillance really make people behave? The texts “Panopticism” by Michel Foucault and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey both focus on how to make people behave. Foucault's theory explains that if surveillance is used on people in seclusion, the authorities will claim ultimate control. Kesey’s novel challenges this theory once new ward member McMurphy is transferred in, as he provokes …show more content…
This idea is based on a drawing of a prison by J. Bentham; the prison is set up in a circular building with isolated cells, while a central tower in the middle houses guards who are able to watch the prisoners’ every move. However, because of the set-up, inmates can never see the guards. This causes a psychological, rather than physical, effect on them. Foucault believes this concept can be applied to modern society, as people are watched by cameras, monitored by the government, and warned by menacing signs. By letting people in society know they are being watched, it can influence their behavior. Therefore, Foucault states that these techniques guarantee control. But, Foucault states that this authority does not have to be a specific figure in society; just the mere idea of “unverifiable” (320) authority gives them power. Foucault creates this theory and applies it to modern day society, and how our heightened control by others is due to this idea of control. While prisons are strongly accustomed to a “Panopticon-like” setting, institutions today such as schools or stores use part of Foucault’s theory—mainly unverifiable figures watching them, keeping society in a democratic-like manner, and to shape society’s behavior so they not like likely to cause

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