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An Analysis of the Themes of Self-Reliance and Self-Esteem in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Word Count: 1,256
During the course of the last fifty years society has changed significantly In modern society a great emphasis is placed on individualism and diversity within a society It is rare that an individual would be ridiculed or forced to change simply for not complying with what society views as normal This has not always been the case though The nineteen fifties were much different This was an era of social conformity The members of society who were intent on maintaining this social state ostracized individuals who were considered abnormal Such abnormal individuals just simply accepted the fact that they were not part of this normal society Because of societys influence these people sought help in psychiatric wards in attempts to better themselves and thus fit into society By doing so they let society conform and mold them into what was thought as normal Ken Kesey was a man in this era that did not believe in social conformity Kesey along with his followers set off on a mission to open the minds of people who were focused on maintaining this status quo Ken Keseys journey led him to write One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest This novel focuses on the struggle between individuals who are intent on keeping things the same with those who are considered different Harding is a character in the novel that is limited by opposing forces of society and who in turn seeks refuge in hopes to be accepted With the influence of McMurphy Harding changes from an apprehensive rabbit to a self-assured man This change illustrates Keseys view that an individual can realize the worth of their life through self-acceptance and reliance on ones self rather than conforming to social norms Harding admits himself in the psychiatric hospital because he is abnormal in a society that highly values normality He discovered at an early age that he wasdifferent He indulged in certain practices thatsociety regards as shamefulpg 294 Admitting himself
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