“One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”: an Allegory of Communism

Topics: Communism, Democracy, Communist state Pages: 6 (2312 words) Published: October 6, 2008
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”: an allegory of Communism Have you ever heard anything about the lives of people who live in a Communist country? I am personally one of those whose family struggled 18 years without individual rights and freedom under the Communist rule. I am familiar with the lives of those people. These experiences are not found in any Communist books. Before 1975, Vietnam was a republic. On April 30th, 1975, Communists took over the country. They claimed that our country was independent and that we would have liberty from then on. The truth is our individual rights and freedoms have been lost since that day. We lived under the Communist dictatorship and were forced to obey the orders of their leaders. We could not travel outside the country. They forced each family to have an adult representative at the group meeting one night a week to discuss other people’s problems. We had to sing songs, which praised the government. Each family had to hang a picture of Ho Chi Minh, the Communist leader, in their living room, and a Communist flag at the front door. If anyone did not obey orders, the Communists would put that person in jail. In Vietnam, one is General Secretary, the most powerful position in the country, until he dies. Then the party votes another one among its members to be the next General Secretary. We were not allowed to vote for that position. We did not have freedom of the press, either. Writers still have to write in favor of the government. Some writers have tried to mock the government or to describe the struggling of citizens in a humorous story, a fairy tale or an allegorical form. Sometimes these writers have been clever enough to get away with it; most of the time they have not. An allegory is a form of extended metaphor in which objects, persons and actions in a narrative are equated with meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. Thus the allegory represents one thing in the guise of another. The film One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest is adapted from Ken Keseys 1962 novel and is an allegory of life in a Communist country. The movie, with its setting of life in the society of a mental hospital, represents also how real life is manipulated under Communism. People have no freedom of movement. They are trapped in a circle of dictatorship and have to obey the orders, no questions asked. There are no individual rights in either that hospital or in a Communist country. Those who try to fight for their rights and freedom end up being killed or mentally destroyed, whatever it takes to keep them quiet and enslaved. The movie One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest depicts the lives of many patients in the hospital. The hospital is surrounded by a high fence with barbed wire and locked gates. Those who live inside are isolated from the outer world. The only connection for them to the outer world is through looking out the fence, as the character Chief Bromden does before McMurphy, the protagonist, tries to teach him how to play basketball. The lives of these patients represent the lives of many people who live in a country controlled by Communists. In the country I was born in, whatever happens there is kept inside the country. My family, my people are inaccessible to the world. They cannot travel to other countries. People from other countries cannot easily come to visit either, except if they are Communists from other Communist countries. The tourists only see what the government wants them to see. They cannot take pictures out of the country that show the unpleasantness of reality or of the government. For those who have not had the experience of living with the Communists as an ordinary citizen and so cannot recognize the lies, all they see are distorted pictures of the truth of what happens in our country. That is because the Communist party controls all newspapers published, and no one has a chance to go out of the country to tell the truth. The...
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