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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,

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Over time, society has neglected as well as welcomed ideas to the understanding of normal. Society merely fosters ideas to help maintain a balance in the understanding of what is right and wrong. Through strictly basing laws that revolve around their ideas, society can balance the ideas that they wish to neglect in an attempt to live in the "ideal" world. Many ideas are belittled and labeled as taboos and the sole factor that affects their label is time. Time is a major factor on the ideas and the evolution of their understanding. The main problem with society is the labeling of the people that follow the ideas that they neglect. Sanity and Insanity easily fall into the category of welcomed and neglected ideas. Society needs to control the rebels that believe in the neglected ideas through labeling them as insane. Insanity is a mystery in itself, it is not completely understood and yet many interpret it in many ways. Two infamous authors that best interpret insanity in their own astounding ways are Ken Kesey and Sylvia Plath. These two authors point out the negative interpretations made by society on the insane. They use their characters to portray the negative understanding of mental illnesses. ...read more.


Kesey highlights the significance of the insane and their positive energy. He uses McMurphy as a tool to highlight each patient's positive side whereas society only searches for the negative. Kesey's outlook on mental illness is simple; he uses his novel to point this out. His novel shows how the patients in the ward are there because society placed them there. Society labeled these people to be against the norms or conformities, which in return allowed the patients to feel inferior and out of place. This novel stresses the fact that each person should not be forced into a corner; they should be given rights to live regular lives with other people. Society should not force inferiority complexes on these patients. The fact that most of the patients were voluntary helps prove this point. It shows how society forced them into a completely different and inhumane lifestyle. Another novel that joins this rebellion against society in relation to insanity is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. In this novel, Plath interprets insanity in her own way trying to prove practically the same point as Kesey. Plath's use of description, metaphors, and characterization help provide her main point of allowing insanity to merge with reality. ...read more.


It is shown insignificantly in The Bell Jar, one patient briefly converses about it. On the other hand, Lobotomy has a major impact in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The main character undergoes a lobotomy at the end of the novel. This act completely criticizes the ways of society in relation to medical treatments. Many forms of medical treatments on insanity exist but whether they provide a positive outcome is the main question. Society and mental illness are very closely related in the sense that society creates the separation between sanity and insanity. That separation is miniscule and changes constantly over time. Both of these novels emphasize isolation, suppression, and seclusion forced by society. Society forces these on the ideas that are condemned or not wanted. These ideas should not force inhumane actions but rather welcome ideas as an advantage to a better society, a more open society. Mental illnesses and treatments are used as major themes in novels to help highlight the negative aspects of what society creates. Through showing the unjust actions forced by society on people, the idea of insanity should evolve from punishment to help. Word Count: 1,605 1 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey. 2 Gale, CD-Rom, HS Library. Source 1 3 Gale, CD-Rom, HS Library. Source 1 4 Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography, 1941-1968; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 17-20. 5 Gale, CD-Rom, HS Library. Source 1 ...read more.

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