One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Orgins of Violence/Essay Question

I like origins of Violence because its kinda telling you what the depiction of the three black boys in the story are experiencing. So could you help me choose if this is a good one or the others . . .

Many critics have mistakenly cried racism against Kesey in the novel’s depiction of the three black boys who serve Nurse Ratched. They certainly are portrayed as dumb, sniveling brutes who follow the Nurse's orders as perverse henchmen. They are intent on destruction. Why did Kesey choose to make these characters black? Kesey’s choice is not racist but is a critique of racism in society or at least racism in Ratched’s mind. This is because the novel provides a very clear etiology for each of these boys early in the novel. The Nurse carefully sorts through potential boys for the job, looking for the ones who have the most hate within them, those who have learned to internalize their rage so that they have every reason to be completely obedient to her will and to act brutally when they get the chance. Nurse Ratched has chosen boys who already express the internalized anger she feels, the fury and pain she has repressed under the facade of calm, serene order. If the boys who fit the bill are black, it is because in a racist society they already have experienced (more than others) the hurt in their lives that has made them so angry, and if anyone is racist in this regard, it is Ratched for thinking the black boys are most likely to be the kind of boys she wants. If one's environment is largely to blame for a person becoming angry and violent, it is worth examining the causes of anger and violence in other characters from the same perspective.

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