'How does the author of the prescribed text use literary techniques to explore issues between society and the individual?'.
The notion that society's influential pressures compel individuals to conform, forcing them to supress their individuality is explored by Ken Kesey, in the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Through specific literary techniques including, characterisation, symbols and setting, the idea that an individual cannot express themselves freely in society without feeling a sense of isolation is explored. Kesey, is then able to depict to a reader that in society today, individuals who follow and conform to institution and government rules, are manipulated into concealing their rightful individuality. .
Symbolism is used to portray that society manipulates individuals to conform, forcing them to hide their individuality. This is achieved through the symbol of the fog machine and the motif of invisibility. The fog machine makes Chief feel as if he "[was] safe from the enemy, but awfully alone."(pg 122). The description of the fog machine symbolizes the way individuals feel when society manipulates them to conform to the social mould. They feel a sense of isolation and aloneness, as they are unable to show their own unique individuality in public. This is then supported by the way that Chief acts around the fog, he often wants "to be safe" (pg. 163) by concealing himself in the fog. The fog machine is symbolic figment of Chief's imagination that helps the reader to understand how individuality can get lost and hidden when conforming to society. This is then supported with the motif of invisibility. Chief becomes invisible right from the start of the novel, he believes that "[people] can't tell so much about you if you got your eye's closed."(pg 4). Chief's lack of sight depicts that society influence's individuals so much until they are unable to physically see their own sense of uniqueness.