In which ways is 1984 by George Orwell similar to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey?I know that both novels touch on the themes of totalitarian authorities (Big Brother/ Nurse Ratched)...

In which ways is 1984 by George Orwell similar to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey?

I know that both novels touch on the themes of totalitarian authorities (Big Brother/ Nurse Ratched) and the concepts of rehabilitation are alike (Room 101 for 1984 and electroshock therapy in Cuckoo's nest)

Asked on by jpetz

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Both novels point out some of the faults of systems that are based on the system over everything else.  If you look at the ways that Big Brother and Nurse Ratched maintain control over the inmates or the population, the irony is that both of them are incredibly abusive and destructive while purportedly working for the best interests of those groups.  Of course the reader quickly learns that they are only acting to maintain power and to maintain the status quo.

Both novels also use one "sane" or insightful character to point out and demonstrate the flaws and idiosyncracies of the ruling power.  Through the perspective of this character, the reader is treated to a wide variety of experiences that show the importance of examining such systems and some of the destructive tendencies they have for the most thoughtful and most intelligent members of their societies.

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