One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Throughout literary works, society seems to always be analyzed and distinguished differently by each author. The captivating way in which they can simultaneously use literal and figurative devices help to captivate each reader’s mind. Anthem by Ayn Rand can be a great example of this piece because it defies the way a reader understands and sees society as a whole. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest however, Ken Kessey defies how a reader sees the connection between a mental ward and a totalitarian society.
Nurse Ratched’s ward can be seen as this because there are so many similarities that a reader has no doubt but to clearly see the connection. She is the one who controls all aspects of the ward and her patients are the prisoners, likewise she is the dictator. The dictator that many can connect her to is Hugo Chavez due to the similarities involved between both leaderships. Kessey uses the expanse of the mental patients under the control of Nurse Ratched as a connection to a society or country being controlled by a dictator in a totalitarian society.
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Nurse Ratched is seen as the dictator of this mental ward with the comparisons that can be formed are quite distinct. Her air of coldness and her akin ability to manipulate the patients help her in her domination of the ward. Throughout the novel, Kessey presents lucid identification to similar characteristics Nurse Ratched has to a dictator. One dictator that can be compared to Nurse Ratched is Hugo Chavez. Chavez and Ratched both had an astute technique that they used to suppress both prisoners and patients.
Nurse Ratched uses her deep erudition of each patient’s history in order to intimidate them. With this in mind, she is able to make the men feel inferior and help the reader insinuate that women are the superior gender. Chavez can be given the same reputation because he was able to intimidate everyone with his power. In his dictatorship of 14 years, in Venezuela, he had the same qualities as Ratched is depicted: cold, heartless, and intimating. Both of these people had adroit means in which they suppressed each individual with their power.
The reader can now extrapolate the different means by which Ratched can have the ward be seen as a totalitarian society. There are different means by which the patients are restricted and made to have an incoherent understanding of the world outside the ward’s boundaries. Nurse Ratched makes this very possible by monitoring sections of the ward with cameras, not allowing patients to fully experience the outside world, and strip them of their power or “manhood. ” Nurse Ratched is able to control the patients with the ability to monitor their moves around the wars.
Cameras have been set up to allow the Nurse to increase her acumen of how each patient acts around the ward and wither there may be oppositions to her power. Chavez has also had the same idea in Venezuela as to set up cameras and monitor each individual. This allows him to see that no organization is being formed against him; if they are, he can easily get rid of them. Ratched has also cut off all possible connections with the outside world and not let the patients develop a perspicuous mind, but only know what they have learned in the ward.
Chavez in this sense has taken away the possibility for reputable sources to be presented. He has suppressed freedom of press which did not allow press to fully be expressive in their work without consequences. Nurse Ratched is the dominant figure in this novel presenting the vulnerability of the men. With her having stripped their manhood and any power, she is able to have things her own way. She can allow or deny various activities within the ward due to the lack of rebellion from the patients. Chavez also has made his people voiceless and without any power.
By orders of Chavez, the people can be monitored and not given the freedom that they would like. These two leaders are able to have complete control over each person at their mercy. Even if these two leaders had absolute control over everything, the victims seemed to not stand up for themselves. They may have not assented to everything, but they were too scared to want to put up a fight. In the mental ward, the patients seemed too afraid to stand up for themselves. Ratched seemed to have the patients well set into a way of domination that the men felt no need to rise against her.
They somehow had a small fidelity to her and were able to achieve solidarity within the ward, much to Nurse Ratched’s pleasure. Ratched was able to reinforce a type of fear she had in all the patients in determining their fates. Hugo Chavez was also able to attain the same composure from the citizens of Venezuela. Chavez may not have had the plaudis of his people, but he was able to remain in power for 14 years. He was able to have everything monitored and controlled while still controlling the individual’s life.
He struck fear by having the military force behind his every action. With this possible, he was able to maintain a tight rein just like Ratched. Both of these dictators, in a sense, were able to hold each individual’s emotions suppressed and not want to revolt against them. The power of fear was evident and so was oppression. With this type of power, came the thought that everything must be done a certain way with the permission by the dictator. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest is an incredible story of domination between a nurse and her patients.
With the endless possibility to make them feel inferior, Nurse Ratched has absolute control; much like a dictator in a totalitarian society. With the many connections Kessey is able to draw up between dictator and Nurse, it is evident that it is very possible to have the most humble of places become a prison. Ratched intends to keep her patients isolated, vulnerable, and feel every bit as inferior to any gender. She can easily be compared to Hugo Chavez, a well-known dictator, with the many strategies that they both use to suppress their victims. A simple mental ward became the nightmare of the patients overnight.