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One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey examines humanity and control In this novel characters within a mental institution struggle with achieving rights and freedoms The mental institution and its staffs resemble totalitarian state of government which imposes laws and control However as demonstrated by one of the characters RP McMurphy it takes a strong individual to stand up against a totalitarian system and speak for the rights and freedoms of the individual This theme demonstrates through McMurphys self-sacrifice the patients realize that they are able to obtain rights and freedoms by becoming self-reliant and independent of the laws of the combine as McMurphy has demonstrated Being self-dependent and self-reliant is important in order to be a strong individual The patients in the hospital are quite unusual They cannot adjust to the society and the society does not accept them The patients are dependent and ignorant they do not see the cruelty that is imposed on them they need the nurse to makes choices for them which allows the combine to control them We need a good strong wolf like the nurse to teach us our place Kesey Pg 61 Any patients who displays individuality or self-reliance is medicated or punished by nurse Ratched Nevertheless a unique character comes along that demonstrates and teaches other patients how to be strong and courageous McMurphy challenges the state and gains respect and hope of the patients But the new guy is different and the Acutes can see it different from anybody been coming on this ward for the past ten years different from anybody they even met outside Hes just as vulnerable maybe but the Combine didnt get him Kesey Pg 83 McMurphy is a character who is courageous who helps them see that in order for them to evoke a change in their system they must be self-reliant independent and willing to challenge the combine together as he does RP McMurphy is
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