Insights into a new generation.
Reflection of 1960’s society: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Clean cut and conformed are words you could use to describe society in the 1950‘s. In this era, everyone looked similar and obeyed the same unspoken rules that ‘the establishment’ or government, set out for them. However, that conformity was breading change. If you confine something for too long, it will begin to resent the power confining it and attempt to break free by any means necessary. As the 1960’s began, certain members of society decided that they no longer wanted to remain conformed or oppressed as they saw it. Instead they saw the potential of a new world where society was a Technicolor piece of art where everyone was different and possessed their own voice. This dream was a major change in early 1960’s society where individuality was seen as a threat to order. The emerging movement to become individualized would not be an easy one to accomplish. It would require dedication and strong powerful leadership to contrast the overbearing power of the established practices across society. The struggle for individuality that happened in the 1960’s is reflected in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest through the overbearing power of Nurse Ratched, the strong, outspoken leadership of McMurphy, and the personality changes in Chief Bromden.
The struggle against authority that occurred during the 1960’s was an act against the existing establishment and that struggle is reflected in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The battle is demonstrated through the conflict between McMurphy’s rebellions and Nurse Ratched’s overbearing power. Much like the existing establishment of the 1960’s Nurse Ratched suppresses the individuality of the patients. Harding says, “We need a good strong wolf like the nurse to teach us our place."(185) to McMurphy in regards to his opinion of Nurse Ratched. Nurse Ratched has converted the patients into thinking that she is a good person...