Jack batty English Dr. Strangeways
How are people enslaved and by what means do they attempt to free themselves?
Throughout both Bladerunner and Cuckoos Nest, characters are enslaved either through their own means or because of others actions upon them. Many of these characters become free of their slavery as their stories go on, though whether becoming free or actually being a slave in the first place are actually negative things is something that can be disputed. How slavery is defined is another factor that will contribute to how negative or positive being a slave is, for if we define slavery as someone who is the property wholly to another person or thing compared to if we see it as someone who is enslaved by their own fears and beliefs, will change the outlook completely.
Chief Bromden is largely enslaved throughout the novel by many things; he is a slave to the nurse and the combine, his past and his own mind, fear and the fog and his confidence or lack of. Broom’s slavery can be looked at as being a safe type of slavery for as long as he sticks to the image he has created of himself he is safe and although he doesn’t have much freedom, what he does have is the knowledge that he is safe, which is a reassuring thing in Ratched’s ward where the slightest mishap could have you beaten up by the black boys or sent down to disturbed to meet “their little battery charger” as McMurphy puts it. As the novel continues Broom starts to become more active, he votes, he goes fishing and starts talking, these actions of Broom; although they set him free of his slavery also jeopardises his livelihood. For when Broom starts to activate himself he loses the fog, which is his fear and without his fear he is no longer afraid of the consequences of what will happen if he is not a slave. The ultimate freedom that Broom gets in the novel is when he escapes and as he is no longer apart of the ward anymore he is completely free of his fear, therefore being free of slavery, the slavery of the ward and the slavery of his mind.