• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Bell Jar and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A comparison of the ways Sylvia Plath and Ken Kesey explore societies' notions of sanity and insanity in The Bell Jar and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest discussing the effect of societies' need for conformity upon the individual. In this essay, I plan to discuss the way Plath and Kesey use insanity as a device in their novels One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, and The Bell Jar to rebel against society and it's expectations upon the individual. Both novels have a central character, which is put into a mental institution, to be re-educated to the conformity of their society. The Bell Jar is set in the U.S.A. in 1953. In this period, Yale, the university Buddy Willard attended was a male only college. Even though is it post - world war 2, it was still a time of female repression as in the fact that achievement for a woman was to have a secure family and to be a good mother and wife still outlined success. ...read more.

Middle

She is only accepted when she receives a letter from Buddy inviting her to the Yale Senior Prom, which makes all the other girls in the Amazon Hotel believe she is now worth talking to. She doesn't have any real friends and favours the girls who seem to be doing exiting things for example when she chooses to go out 'on the town' with Doreen over going to the arranged party with Betsy.2 It is obvious that socialising in this way is not good for Esther, especially in the way that she takes a bath after returning to the Amazon, " I felt myself growing pure again... I guess I feel about a hot bath the way those religious people feel about holy water. I said to myself: "Doreen is dissolving, Lenny Shepherd is dissolving, Frankie is dissolving, New York is dissolving, they are all dissolving away and none of them matter anymore. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is an important fact, as it is mentioned in the first paragraph and gives the audience an idea of Esther's unhealthy fascination with death. "It had nothing to do with me, but I couldn't help wondering what it would be like, being burned alive all along your nerves."4 This is the first thing that is fed to the audience that clues them that Esther is not of the healthy mindset that society expects. She also feels as though she has to live up to the expectations of others all the time. During her childhood, she was always a high achiever and won many awards. In One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, Chief Bromden sees society as a machine or 'Combine' as he calls it and describes the mental hospital as "a factory for the Combine"5. 1 Plath, Sylvia, The Bell Jar, Faber and Faber Limited, 1966, page 10 2 The Bell Jar, pages 6-7 3 The Bell Jar, page 19 4 The Bell Jar, page 1 5 Kesey, Ken, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Picador, 1973, page 37 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

    exclaims McMurphy.) At first, McMurphy is happy to play the rebel - from his pornographic playing cards to his bet; "I bet I can put a bug up her ass..." He even triumphantly wins by ironically 'pretending' to be mad (even though he is officially insane!)

  2. Great Expectations Essay -

    It also shows how ashamed Pip is of Joe. However, this was typical of upper-class gentleman to behave in such a way with a lower-class man. This was a different attitude of Pip towards Joe compared to that when Pip was younger.

  1. Great Expectations

    This notifies the audience Pip is a significant character. Also, the repetition indicates to the audience that Pip is the narrator. Dickens has selected to call the main character Pip as it symbolizes Pip is a small seed that has the potential to develop into something remarkable; With the help of love and care.

  2. Great Expectations - Character Introduction

    The first thing that Pip says to describe her is that she was "The Strangest woman I have ever seen or shall ever see." He then describes her as, "waxwork and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me."

  1. Great Expectations

    Consequently it is only by saving Abil Magwitch and forgiving Miss Havisham show's that money isn't everything and that makes Pip worthy of being called a gentleman. Pip is both the antagonist proving that from whatever your back ground you can always achieve something great with you life and the

  2. Explain the different notions that Shakepeare uses in The Christmas Carol

    He also saw that Scrooge, his only friend in the world, was following the same path. Marley was able to procure a chance to help Scrooge avoid this fate by arranging the visitations of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

  1. Great Expectations

    danger" dickens intension when he wrote this was to show us how powerless Pip is against Magwitch and how much control he has Over Pip. In the time the book was written the church played a very important part in the peoples lives so when Magwitch forces Pip to say

  2. Great Expectations

    The next main character we meet is described to us through the eyes of Pip on the marshes, Pip describes him as, A fearful man, all in course grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shoes, and an old rag tied around his head.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work