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History (1861-1992) - Research Paper Example

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When we think of mental institutions, we think of white, crisp nurses and doctors’ uniforms, as well as, patients’ clothes. We think of order and control. We think of authority and insanity under one roof. These are the elements present in the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” It’s interesting to view a movie that has a title of a bird and a bird’s nest and then we see a mental institution at the works…
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History Research Paper (1861-1992)
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History (1861-1992)

Download file to see previous pages... The movie is not simply just a tug-of-war of power and control, it imitates and recreates the idea of the men-versus-women situation within the society. It is also captures one of the most controversial traits, the passion to become free from control and authority. The movie clearly shows the different types of people within the society and it is strange to think that a mental institution can be likened to what is happening within the society. Mental institutions are full of insane people, does this mean that society may be full of insane people trying to fight the authority of those who rule and to create a sense of freedom within the bounds of the laws set by the people in power? Birds represent freedom, and looking at the title alone, we believe that’s what it implies, that it is a movie about freedom. Looking at the nature of the main characters of the nurses and the patients, we see that it may be a glimpse of the society at work not a depiction of the mental ward. The movie, released in the sixties, at the height of an anti-authoritarian counterculture spirit gave the society an insight of who we were at the time. Or better yet, it gave an insight of how the society moved towards to when it comes to facing authority, control and power. Not a soul wants to be tied down, or bound against his freedom. This is the movie’s focal point. The plot of the movie does not focus on one character rather it focuses on the situation within the mental institution. Jack Nicholson, who is rather an unconventional type of patient, represented the changing force within the mental institution. He was the force that created a stir within the institution, primarily because of the fact that he was not clinically insane as the other characters. He does exhibit a certain madness but he is not one of the psychologically imbalanced patients typical within a mental institution. His only madness was his desire to be out of the prison, that he chose another type of prison, the mental institution, which he believed was better than a criminal prison. This indicates a stereotype of mental institutions, where patients are treated well to become better or to come out of their madness. It is an interesting perspective that people outside of the mental institution believe that it is a hospital where there is comfort, when clearly the patients are not in comfort of what they are experiencing either because of their insanity or the pressure to become sane. It shows then that it is an interesting comparison to view a mental institution as a social institution, which may inhibit the freedom of a person. The mental institution in the movie is similar to the society. There are the nurses and doctors, who have the authority and power similar to the ruling class or the government officials, to declare the laws within the institution. How can they be similar? The movie shows, in the representation of Nurse Ratched, that there is supposed to be someone looking over and looking out for the people within the institution. She determines whether the patient is behaving incorrectly or not. This is similar to how the society is run by the government. If an individual breaks a law, he is fined or sent to prison, very similar to a patient being sent for a shock treatment to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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