Oppression in Cuckoos Nest

Powerful Essays
frank C,
Survey of Literature and Comp. – Block 5
May 10, 2011

An Omnipresent Oppression

Oppression is an omnipresent force which has fed on ignorance and hatred and affected the lives of the less fortunate and powerless. Through literature people are able to express their feelings and attitudes regarding an amalgam of elements. An example of this exists in the two texts, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and “The Life Your Save May Be Your Own;” in both texts we see a clear correlation between the plot events in the stories and the events that took place in American History to oppress women and Native Americans. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” are similar due to the fact that they both metaphorically represent racism in the United States; it is clearly displayed through entrapment, subjugation of people, and prejudicial undertones used to limit the societal roles of those who face bigotry.
The forced entrapment of Chief Bromden in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” represents the forsaken lives of the Native Americans during the early part of the nineteenth century. Chief Bromden was taken prisoner in the mental institution simply because he was different and does not conform to the patterns of society. The mental institution can be related to the reservations that Native Americans were forced to live on during the nineteenth century because both imprisoned people simply for their differences not because they have committed a serious crime. During the nineteenth century society was changing, and ignorance was encroaching on the minds of the American people resulting is a large uprising against a multi-cultural society. As a response to this the government removed Native Americans away from civilization and forced them west simply because they did not fit in with the European culture that existed (Rohrborgh 543). The novel’s plot events can be a representation of the entrapment the Native Americans faced



Cited: Bruccoli, Matthew, ed. "Societal Trends." American Decades. 1950-1959 ed. Detroit (New York): Gale Research, 1994. Print. Kesey, Ken. One Flew over the Cuckoo 's Nest. New York, NY: Viking, 1973. Print. O’Connor, Flannery, “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.” Timeless voices, Timeless Themes: An American Tradition. Ed. Piane Capillo,et.al. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. 973- 985. Rohrborgh, Malcom J. "Native Americans." Encyclopedia of American History. Expansion and Reform ed. New York (New York): Facts on File, 2003. Print. Super, John, ed. "Women Rights." The Fifties in America. Vol. III. Pasadena (Calif.): Salem, 2005. Print.

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