Hand Maids Tail

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade July 2001

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Told as seen through the eyes if a mental patient, Chief Broom, Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is about a new patient, McMurphy, turning around the lives of, and giving strength to the mental institute's patients. Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" is about society being taken over ans run by a government. The story is told as seen through the eyes of Offred, the main character in the novel. Dispite the differences seen on the surface of the stories, i.e. one takes place in a mental institute and one takes place out in the open in a controlled society, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "The Handmaid's Tale" are similar in many ways. Both take place in environments that have a goal of forcing their inhabitants to conform. Chief in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and Offred in "The Handmaid's Tale" find life too difficult under the eyes of society.

Both societies, dispite their differences show a negative attitude towards women.

The evironments in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "The Handmaid's Tale" force their inhabitants to conform. In "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", the reason the people are in the mental institution is because according to the society they do not meet the norm and do not conform. The institution is there to teach people how to become like other people, how to become, according to the definition given by society, "normal". The patients, and even the workers, are all forced to follow the rules and schedules set up by Big Nurse.

She tells him how the schedule has been set for a delicately balanced reason that would be thrown into turmoil by the...