Comparative Analysis on Obedience

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Bailey Hartman Ms. Tubergen W131 2 April 2012 Comparative Analysis on Obedience In the movie film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, all three types of conflict (man vs. man, man vs. self, and man vs. nature) appear which creates the basis for multiple problems. For example, after the main character, McMurphy, punches a male nurse to defend his friend in the psych ward, Cheswick, Nurse Ratched performs a shock treatment on McMurphy. She does so in an attempt to help the other nurses restrain McMurphy. This type of treatment gives painful shocks to a subject’s head which transfers to the brain killing the “disturbed” brain cells that supposedly cause the subject’s bad behavior. Nurse Ratched not only uses this treatment to help heal her distressed patients but also uses it as a form of punishment towards her patients that create outbursts of conflict. Nurse Ratched continues to administer outrageous treatments in order to punish throughout the storyline. Almost all of the instances of conflict throughout the film result from Nurse Ratched’s constant belief that physically and emotionally torturing her patients “help” them heal. Many psychologists have come to the consensus of a puzzling problem that humans have a natural willingness to administer outrageous treatments, but the question arises, “Why do authority figures confuse their acts of cruelty with helpfulness?” Stanley Milgram and Philip G. Zimbardo use their individual articles, “The Perils of Obedience” and “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” to portray their findings from self-conducted experiments while Herbert C. Kelman and Lee Hamilton simply reported and recorded the happenings and testimonies from the day of the My Lai Massacre. Zimbardo, Milgram, and Kelman/Hamilton all provide pieces of evidence that lead to the understanding that authority figures sometimes get pleasure from taking advantage of

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