There is both congruence and contrast among cuckoo's nest, Dead poets society characters, Plato's allegory of the cave and today's society. This is depicted by the fact that some characters embrace liberalism as opposed to conservatism in day to day human experiences (Plato 12-14).
For example, one finds that Peter Weir in Dead Poets Society appreciates the idea of being a revolutionist, critical and not just assimilating every idea that has been put in place without analyzing it. This is still reinforced by Robin Williams in the Dead Poets Society whereby even though he is a main character he is not confining himself to a single role He is multi faceted; a notion that human being consciously or unconsciously resent as they like or are used to predictable characters. Again though his name is above the title he does not exploit that opportunity. He gives room for other characters. Still, one finds William being himself in that he does not behave artificial by trying to buy the attention of his audience (Kleinbaum 22-25).
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As for teacher John Keating (Williams), he tells his Anglo Saxon students not to live within the confines of society by being innovative. He delivers this clearly as he can be by being a role model even in his teaching .The teacher urges his students to be as creative, interactive and liberal so as to make their learning as well as their personal lives as interesting and adventurous as possible. This libel teacher encourages his learners to follow their heart desires and pursue them. This means that the students should exercise their right to choose any career they want to pursue but not what is dictated by their parents, guardians or even teachers for that matter. Teacher Keating is seen to really deliver during his teaching sessions as his lessons are enthusiastic coupled with autonomy of students to express themselves and give out the best in them. He also challenges them not to settle for mediocre but for the best in life no matter all the odds (Kleinbaum 8-12).
However Keating idea school of thinking is opposed by his fellow colleague, teacher Welton who claims to be more knowledgeable and experienced since he is older compared to teacher Keating. Welton takes Keating's ideas about non conformism as a personal challenge matter of his intellectual quo instead of a noble ground for mushrooming of new advanced ideas. Again one finds out that the authority at hand does not support Keaning's way of thinking as they view him as a threat as he gains popularity with his learners. The head teacher is rigid and adamant to change concerning the customs of the school. However one sees teacher Keating receding in the play and later taking subtle roles in the entire scene (Kleinbaum 18).
Teacher Keting is having opposition from every side. One of his parents, Mr. Perry instructs his son to follow what he demands which is contrary to what the student knows and wants according to the enlightenment that he has received from his teacher Keating. The parent commands his son to pursue what he is neither interested nor gifted in. He demands him to pursue medicine while the boy is excels in literature and poetry (Kleinbaum 21-22).
Noel Perry (Robert Sean Leonard), a brilliant child with the Darth Vader dad, decides wants to be an actor, despite his stern father has for him. Who does not want this as his mind is confined to the Hollywood's mentality of male actors and movie stars being homosexuals. On the other hand, Noel's roommate called Todd (Ethan Hawke) is dreams of being a writer, but he is too timid to express himself. There is also Charlie Dalton (Gale Hansen) who is too scarred of expressing her passion to work for the local girl.
For the first time one sees the Dead Poets Society breaking its norms of conservatism. This is achieved by Robin Williams who acts in an erratic manner as opposed to their former movies. The change is seconded by teacher Keating who is different from the other teachers as well as the policies of Welton Academy. It is imperative hence impossible to overlook the role of teacher Keating who is very candid in telling his students the truth that would be of help yet in a prudent way. Nevertheless he only takes quite a small part in the play. The play delimits him only to a teacher without exploiting other inputs that he is contributing in the lives of his learners, fellow teachers, the school at large as well as the targeted audience. Thus, one still finds the Dead Poets Society also being limited to their conventional way of production in that they are rigid in their operations so as to create a pre conceived image to their clients (Kleinbaum 12-15).
In the film, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, one sees characters that are different in how they handle change as already analyzed above. The movie is on a hospital setup whereby there is a nurse called Ratched. She is a cruel nurse contrary to her natural appearance that has endowed her with big bust to portray a caring and a nurturing aspect none of which she possesses. She is soft spoken which deludes patients of being kind. She camouflages behind her uniform attire that pose her as a professional prepared to serve humanity which is incongruent to her real self. She mistreats the patients and uses her power to torment them. The patients have no option but to do what she wants since she has power and authority machinery .She engages the non complying patients to electro convulsive therapy and embarrassing episodes so as to make them docile. Patients fear these painful experiences and in turn they end up complying with her demands. Thus she uses her position in a wrong way that is manipulation technique (Kesey 18-22). This can be likened to the parents who uses their position to dictate on their children on what they ant without giving them an earring ear. Apparently, the scenario is repetitively found in our modern society whereby those in position hold some fringe benefits in case of anyone challenging their governance is seen in politics as well as work places whereby one even be laid of or sacked if he or she posses as a threat to these in authority. The reasons given for such in human acts are always baseless (Kesey 15-20).
The nurse suppresses patient's freedom of expression even in hospital's general meetings as they are scarred of humiliation. This problem has escalated that it cost the life of Billy who the nurse wanted to silence him by letting his mother know about spending a night with a girl. Billy got into panic to a point of death. Still there is also Maxwell Taber who was put onto electroshock treatments and which left him as a weak vegetable that is unable to think. This nurse tries to silence every patient that is non conformist and is ready to fight for democracy. As for the patients that the nurse terms as unruly and vocal, they suffer a great deal (Kesey 20-22).
Another outstanding character is Randle McMurphy who is vocal, convincing, charismatic and confident. He is able to challenge the nurse. Initially, he uses subtle ways to convince the nurse of her misconduct. However the nurse is not ready for a change for the welfare of the patients but wants to maintain her oppressive behavior for her benefit. Thus McMurphy efforts are fruitless and he therefore opts to change his approach to a more assertive one. He tries to convince his fellow patients of the need for a change. The patients seem to conquer with him but they are afraid of confronting the authority. At the end of the day McMurphy is exposed to the scary electroconvulsive therapy that renders him malfunction (Kesey 16-22).
Still there is another character by the name Chief Bromden. He is a tall handsome man who is well educated but does not believe in himself due to past painful experiences. He is from a well up family but the relationship between his parents affected his outlook of things. His mother used to control his father Chief Tee Ah Millatoona who used to remain silent. At the end of the day, Bromden assimilated that of snail or tortoise like. His surname originated from his mother's name instead of dad's. This is a clear depiction of oppression. While this character was in his early formative age, pupils used to bully him and this escalated the problem whereby he internalized that he was not handsome and belittled himself. Still, when he was a teenager, his father's colleagues acted as though he never existed by not giving him an ear to him. As a result, his self image got distorted. This was further reflected while Chief Bromden was in hospital whereby he used to detest their management but remained mute as though nothing awkward happens. He had also participated in World War II whereby the officials were dictators. Thus Chief Bromden ended up believing that the world is prone to be oppressive (Kesey 25-30).
Plato allegory tries to expound on this whereby he argues that human beings repel change. They live like as though they are chained and fear to embrace change and thus are caved in into their tradition believe systems, norms and conduct. He stresses that media and stereotype have constricted people to a narrow way of thinking whereby one perceives certain people in a certain way. Consequently, he persuades people to broader thinking. Plato's metaphor relates well with the examples given in the above movies (Plato 32).
In conclusion the contemporary society should encourage open mindedness as opposed to conservatism. In the American society, there is great stress on importance of education, more so higher education. Society essentially emphasizes that the more educated one is, the better off they are. That is very practical if one lives by the means of society. The fundamental idea is that a college education is something that people are supposed to pursue even into their adult years and both parents and the teachers should encourage the children in education and do away with all the obstacles that can hinder them. This is emphasized in Dead Poets Society film.
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is the metaphor for the oppressive nature of American society. The film presents an inmate standing up against the powerful forces that run a mental institution. The film makes the society think just how the thin line separates insanity from sanity, as well as treatment from control. On a wider scale, the film represents the battle between evil and good in our society. The patients stir up warm, human emotions whereas the hospital workers are depicted as cruel and cold hearted. Consequently, the battle between these two groups' represents not only the good and evil in that exists between people in our society, but also within them.