1984 & Cuckoo's Nest Comparison Essay

2085 Words Sep 28th, 2012 9 Pages
1984 vs. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

In a totalitarian country, any ordinary citizen’s powers are limited, if at all possible. Although any individual is treated like a part of the society, he has no chances to play a vital role in it. A person is to follow officially dispersed propaganda and obey the rules, which intend to control everything. The totalitarian system uses any means including manipulation, intimidation and even the worst forms of repression just to achieve the main goal - staying in power. George Orwell’s 1984 and Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are very similar novels which describe two different societies being mainly focused on individuals opposing the existing systems. In Orwell’s novel, the
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Nurse Ratched and Big Brother have many similarities in their deeds - they are able to constantly monitor others and execute their powers. The actions of the nurse towards her patients are crude and inhumane. The big difference, however, between these two leaders lie in the achieving of their goals. While Big Brother manages to get his aims realized, Nurse Ratched is deprived of it, by the brave actions of the patients. The patients try to deprive her of feeling of being a dominant dictator. Both, Big Brother and Nurse Ratched seem to be powerful leaders, and integral part of a system, their unconditional control causes a negative impact on a person’s mind.

The setting of Orwell’s novel, 1984, is placed back to the times in the State of Oceania. The social structure is strictly divided into three groups: The Inner Party Members, Outer Party Members, and the meaningless Proles. The Inner Party Members live fancy lives, they have access to wine, as well as real coffee, tea and cigarettes with good tobacco (Orwell 178), they keep all member of Outer Party under close supervision, while Proles “must be kept in subjection, like animals”(Orwell 74). It is extremely important for the rest of the population to think that they live in good conditions and that everyone is equal. As a result, no Outer Party member or Prole may venture into the Inner Party. The patients of the Mental Institution that is set in Oregona, are also divided into groups: the
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