Castration in Cattle Vs Castration in Humans

07-029f1Castration and sterilization of cattle is a way of controlling birth, but also a way of using animals as products and taking away their freedom and identity.

With the long history in America of constant oppression of the indigenous communities, it comes as no surprise that the meat and dairy industry do the same with farm animals (including cows) that are enslaved for production.

Similarly, castration in literature works as a device which takes away a character’s identity. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, half-Native American Chief Bromden, the narrator, whose natural instincts and identity have been suppressed by the standards (the Combine) of a white a white society since he was a child, suffers from a severe disassociation of his own identity. “That ain’t me, that ain’t my face.” As we can observe in this passage, the loss of identity is a very strong, recurrent theme in American Literature, forced upon Chief Bromden by white people; namely his own mother and the Government, operated by and to serve the interests of whites. This attitude is very representative of the suppression of the cultural identity of Native American communities that, stirred by intolerant sentiments, were not seen as being “civilized enough” and were displaced or forced to adopt the white man’s culture and religion as their own.

Chief Bromden looked up to McMurphy. He saw McMurphy as a hero who always fought for maintaining his identity regardless of the adverse conditions and the immense power of persuasion and coercion the Combine had on most people; something his own father, being a tribal chief, a man of a considerable size and strength and a figure of authority, had failed to do himself. As Chief Bromden’s father becomes smaller and fails to defend his own community, so does his son, who, instead, grows more and more inwardly and ends up pretending to be deaf.