ISU Proposal

The two works that I will compare/contrast are:

1. Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

2. Title of the second work (author, title): Fahrenheit 451

What is it about your independent novel that intrigues you so far? What is it about the story that drew you to this text? Why are you choosing this book. Write at least one full paragraph.

The most interesting thing that I’ve noticed so far with my independent novel is the initial descriptive paragraph at the beginning of the book; the author paints a concrete image appear in my mind with highly descriptive words. These pictures make me feel as though I am within the novel itself, for example the passage “With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history…” makes me think as though something has already happened. This vivid image of books and houses burning with the sky set ablazen red gives me a sense that this book will be something about censorship, something about overpowering control or a desire for vengeance, or about restricting knowledge and free-thinking.

I’m naturally drawn to this text because I can make inferences along the way as the author keeps me in suspense with imagery and metaphors; a dystopian science-fiction novel usually raises questions about sociopolitical issues that are applicable in today’s modern society by making references to the ongoing changing state of society. These ideas formulate the basis for developing awareness about how these issues might be potentially problematic if we let them be. Certain thematic premises are ubiquitous in dystopian science-fiction novels such as government control, the lack of critical thinking and spawn of unanimous conformity, the issues of technology and privacy, the geopolitical issues of inhabiting other planets, people of different social classes collapsing, the ethics of cloning, resource distribution, catastrophic events, which all reflect on some part of human nature. As far as I can tell, the story of the book drew me in because of the awkward pointers being posed in the dialogue between Guy Montag and Clarisse McClellan. The smell of kerosene and the firemen themselves seem to be the antagonists of society, given that the fireman asks her why she isn’t afraid, and judging from the initial reference at the beginning,e it would seem that firemen burn books and houses. There’s a law against reading books and a law against driving slowly; in addition, drivers tend to overlook the natural scenery. Advertising seems to be a prominent aspect, and the fireman seems to be at unease, or unhappy in one way another. It’s just interesting to be able to try to come up with some kind of idea about what the book is trying to unfold, or tell.

I also chose this book because it is scientific-fiction literature, I am particularly interested in knowing about how possible hypothetical scenarios of future societies will shape our modern world, or is an aspect of criticism toward the modern world.

Write two paragraphs in which you discuss one of the primary themes and/or conflicts of noteworthy comparison between your two works–that is, propose a point of comparison/contrast for both works, and discuss how both might relate to it.  Keep in mind, these are still early formative ideas and may or may not be part of your final project. This should be a fairly well considered response even though your ideas may be in the formative stages!

I think the main thematic premise between the two books is power and control. In the novel, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest, McMurphy attempts to rebel against the preconceived notions that society attempts to emplace on people. The fact that the patients were unable to adapt to the surrounding landscape, had lead them to become segregated from the rest of society. McMurphy fought for the freedom of the patients, that is, he fought against all the authority figures in the Ward who were representative of society’s unwilling attitude to accept such people for the very fact that they were dissimilar.

In parallel, Fahrenheit 451 challenges the embracement of ignorance by society. Books are being burned, houses are being destroyed, people seem to be partaking in dangerous activities without reasoning or cause, proper protocols are being ignored in favour of quick treatments, etc. The protagonist seems to be mirroring McMurphy, but in a different light. He seems to take pleasure in doing his job, but lacks an intrisinic awareness of what he’s doing. He doesn’t feel happy about what’s he doing. The people around him seem to be unquestioning, and he feels unease when the girl confronts him. There seems to be a distantness  in his consciousness when he looks at the mirror, being unsure of who he is. Perhaps Fahrenheit 451 is hinting about the evermore present modern lifestyle (in the futuristic setting), where people are controlled by media, but without questioning. If this is so, he might be one of those people who challenges, like McMurphy, against the people who are responsible, or the society itself for becoming rather so unfond of themselves.


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