The Star Symbol in the Novels One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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"...only when it is dark enough can you see the stars." said by the famous activist Martin Luther King Jr. What can be analyzed from this quote is, when times become their hardest and most difficult, the good things in life are more noticeable and cherished. The stars represent the good in those dark times of life. I agree with Martin Luther King Jr, the best times come to be seen when the worst times are upon an individual. The literary works, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey and "Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins; are two very good novels that have great representations of the quote states above.

The novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", showed terrible conditions at a mental institution. Residents there were mistreated and unhappy, they had no hope for change anymore. Then a man named McMurphy was admitted into the hospital, he wasn't necessarily the most honest or nicest human being in the world; but the men that have been the hospital were able to see how good a man he is and can be. They depended on him as their savior because he was able to stand up against their darkness who went by Ms. Ratched [the head nurse]. The nurse was the most manipulative and controlling person of the story, the antagonist to be specific. The nurse was the representation of the men's darkness and when McMurphy came to the hospital, he became their star. McMurphy motivated them to stand up and make conditions of the hospital better, the men gained a confidence that they did not have under the complete power of nurse Ratched. McMurphy showed the men that hiding from the world is not going to fix problems, facing them and trying to do something can make a change. He went so far as to sacrifice his life and independent mind for the patients by ripping the clothes off of the head nurse to show the men what they fear is just a simple woman, who can be destroyed. McMurphy was depicted as a good soul underneath his rough and tough attitude, he tricked other patients out of their money but in turn he taught them lessons that would probably stay with the patients for life. He was so influential that even after his death people from the hospital searched for something better than the horrible conditions they were facing. McMurphy was the star in the darkness the men faced, no other man who came into the hospital were able to drag the men out of the safe place until he did.

"The Hunger Games" had a protagonist named Katniss, she was so powerful and headstrong that she became the star symbol of all the districts. Most of people were living in a post-apocalyptic world of garbage and complete control. The capital maintained their control by having each district give up two children to fight other children to the death. Katniss happened to end up being one of the children chosen to fight to the death. This annual child war was called the Hunger Games, she was the most rebellious person during this time. The people of the many suffering districts saw how her rebellion changed history; more than one child survived. Katniss became a shining star among everyone because she showed them that no one truly had to listen to the corrupt powers above them. She became an idol for children and the beginning of a revolution for adults, Katniss was the hope to bring the world out of darkness. After her survival in the ring against some of the best fighters of all the districts, she travelled around giving hope to people with her signature sign of kissing two fingers and raising them up to the sky. No matter how hard the capitol tried to shut the oncoming revolution down the more people began to rebel and shine more light onto the better world. Katniss was a selfless character, she knew the possible risks of contradicting the capital and she did it anyway because she felt the world deserved better. Her actions of rebellion and justice was the star in the darkness and her little star became the sun.

Suzanne Collins and Ken Kesey wrote incredible books about how a little spark of hope can change many lives. Both novels were great supporters of Martin Luther King Jr.'s quote, in the darkest times can you see the stars. Without the protagonist's mentions above, there would have never been a change or a revolution, these stars gave people hope and the confidence to strive for better.

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The Star Symbol in the Novels One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. (2022, Dec 07). Retrieved December 1, 2023 , from

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