Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen and Welcome to Connections in English. I am Frank Weng your host for this podcast series. Today’s topic we discuss the relationship of Power and Control between the novel of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the film 1984. Power and Control is a strong element within everyday life and is also deeply touched on in the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the film 1984.
Power and Control is defined as being able to perform and act efficiently with a dominating influence over a population, this theme is not just an element within a story but an issue that is met in everyday life, however Power and Control is heavily related to this particular novel and film for example, the view of a leader taking power all those around them, a person who has complete and utter control of their surroundings due to an elevated status or ability, this can be seen by both big brother in 1984 and nurse ratchet, or the big nurse in one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.
The need to control all thought, eliminate any individuality and have all subjects thinking in a similar way, this is present in both texts with the person in control again being nurse ratchet and big brother/ the government Everyone you see has a glint of Power & Control, as going through school you meet bullies who are generally bigger and physically stronger than others, however it isn’t just physical strength. One could have a higher status in society (higher reputation) than others therefore have potential of grasping significant power and control.
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There are even individuals in this society who are born into a family with heavy power and control, The Mafia is a good example, Role models are depicted upon and are favored toward the person in control. Never the less you may never constantly maintain your power and control, the loss of power comes with the consequence of losing control. The Classic American novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest written by Ken Kesey has the aspect of Power and Control heavily impacted into the novel.
The Chief is the narrator of the novel and he perceives the ward as a system, however he does not speak and pretends to be deaf “I had to keep on acting deaf if I wanted to hear at all” this shows personal control over himself. However, Nurse Ratchet or The Big Nurse is the head of the system in the ward as even doctors cannot control her. Harding quotes “ We are victims of a matriarchy here, my friend, and the doctor is just as helpless against it as we are”. This clearly shows the loss of authority and control of doctors to Nurse Ratchet nd how she is in control of the system. However, in order for this system to work and maintain, she creates her routine that is never changed, that is until McMurphy is put into the ward. McMurphy is the one who can escape the ‘system’ and takes personal control, he demonstrates the possibilities the ward members can do and encourages them to look beyond the controls imposed upon them and wants them to have fun to feel competent and able to achieve things in the world.
An example of this is when McMurphy Sneaks out with the ward members and takes them to the docks and steals the boats and go out to sea to go fishing also allowing one of the ward members to take control over the boat. It seems that the sense of own power and control gives happiness and cures their issues, an example of this is when Billy had spent the night and slept with McMurphy’s friend, as of this he began to stutter less. However Nurse Ratchet using her power and manipulates Billy’s mind ended with the result of him killing himself.
Chestwick says “she grinds our noses in our mistakes” showing the authority and power of the Big Nurse. 1984 directed by Ridley Scott, Novel written by George Owell is the Big Hit Film that has the topic of Power and Control which is closely related to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It is set in the post war England and it Expresses & maintains Power and Control through the use of fear, physical abuse, and threat of an imaginary war and the use of the new speak. War is Peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is Strength” This is the slogan of the party which is saying that having a common enemy keeps the people of Oceania united, those who are independent are doomed to fail and inability of the people to recognize these contradictions cements the power of the authoritarian regime. Winston works at the Ministry of truth, this is where all of history is kept and saved and is changing history to reflect their current ideology of the party.
The creation of new speak is to control the way they spoke used to prevent people from conceding any disobedient thoughts against the party and individual thoughts and ideas. “Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow.
We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves” This is the main and most visible way through the film of power and control through the minister of Love, ironically this is where the party conducts their torture, mind controlling and brain washing to rehabilitate the misguidance of the citizens of Oceania. After Winston came out of room 101 “He gazed up at the enormous face, forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile hid behind the dark mustache.
Two gin scented tears trickeled down his face, but it was alright, everything was alright, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved big brother”. Another clear way that is shown of control is how large screens of big brother are placed everywhere which is the perception of big brother always watching. Power and Control is a powerful aspect and can be used to manipulate others without realization. One flew over the cuckoo’s nest and 1984 is clearly shown of power and control both similar and both different.
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