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During the course of the last fifty years, society has changed significantly. In modern society a great emphasis is placed on individualism and diversity within a society. It is rare that an individual would be ridiculed or forced to change simply for not complying with what society views as "normal". This has not always been the case though. The nineteen fifties were much different. This was an era of social conformity. The members of society …

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…time in his life Harding rejected the status quo. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is a powerful novel that has a deep meaning. It does not simply tell the story of a psychiatric ward. The novel goes further to explore the importance of self-esteem and self-reliance. It focuses on the power of individualism in an era when such a thing was shunned. The changes in Harding's attitude reflect Kesey's personal rebellion against social conformity.