One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, written by Ken Kesey in 1962 is a gripping multidimensional novel, set in an Oregon Mental Institution set deep in the countryside. The novel is narrated by an American half-Indian known as the “Chief”, who is a seemingly deaf and dumb patient with Paranoid Schizophrenia. By choosing Bromden as the narrator instead of the main character McMurphy, Kesey gives us a somewhat objective view, as its coming from only one perspective.
The story comes from Kesey’s own experiences working on the Graveyard shift as an orderly at a Mental Institution, where he witnessed the Bureaucratic workings of the Institution and looks at the struggle for Power and Control between the two main characters Randal McMurphy who has been admitted for tests after being transferred from Pendleton work farm where he was sentenced to six months hard labour for Statutory Rape, but is faking his Mental illness to try to avoid having to carry out any more hard work and thinks that he can finish off the rest of his sentence in the comfort of the Mental Institution, and Nurse Ratched, the Head Nurse of the ward which is a Mini Society with strict rules, regulations and punishments. Throughout the novel Kesey deploys a range of literary techniques such as characterisation and Biblical imagery in order to explore the themes of Power and Control.
Before the novel even begins Kesey subtly introduces the themes at hand in the Title which is taken from a well-known nursery rhyme which states “One flew East one flew West and one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest” signifies that there are two distinct groups presented: the geese that fly east and those that fly west. These groups are going in pola...
... middle of paper ...
...e novel progresses, it becomes clear that McMurphy is to be regarded as a Christ-figure giving us a Biblical Imagery. There are suggestions of this early in the novel in the patient Ellis, who has received ECT and is now nailed to the wall with his arms stretched out, as if he were being crucified (this is how the Chief sees him). It is Ellis who says to Billy Bibbit, as the men are about to set out for the fishing trip, to be a “fisher of men”, which is what Christ said to the fisherman Peter when he called Peter to be his disciple. The table which is used for the EST treatments is shaped like a cross, which suggests the crucifixion of Christ. McMurphy takes twelve people with him on the trip, just as Christ had twelve disciples, and he choose to see out his mission to free the patients from their oppression on the ward, even at the expense of his own safety.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Chief Bromden is a character who has to work his way back to being and acting like a real human after so many years of being 'dehumanized' (Porter 49) into a machine created by the evil Nurse Ratched. I. Bromden in the beginning A. Dehumanized by Nurse Ratched 1. structured 2. forbids laughing 3. controlling B. The effect that the Nurse and the ward have on Bromden 1. could not smell 2. thinks of himself as little 3. hides in the fog 4. fears everything 5. sees himself as comic 6. hallucinates II.... [tags: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest]
3215 words (9.2 pages)
- ... The goose that flies over the cuckoo’s nest would be McMurphy, because he’s the one that ends up crazy (or cuckoo) in the end because of his lobotomy, further reinforcing that she is very manipulative with all her tools of control and holds all the power on the ward. The Big Nurse’s very first appearance on the ward is quite significant “She slides through the door with a gust of cold wind and locks the door behind her” portrays an image of her gliding through the door like an icy stiff breeze on the coldest of days, then locking the heavy door behind her in a motion that is linked to her surname, Ratched is also a pun of "ratchet," which is a tool that uses a twisting motion to tighten... [tags: randal mcmurphy, graveyard]
856 words (2.4 pages)
- Chief Bromden, a tall American-Indian mute is the central character that symbolizes the change throughout the text and also throughout society. Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest uses this character that is subject to change as the narrator event though his perceptions cannot be fully trusted. Initially the ward is run as if it was a prison ward, but from the moment the brawling, gambling McMurphy sets foot on the ward it is identified that he is going to cause havoc and provide change for the patients.... [tags: One Flew Over Cuckoos Nest]
1139 words (3.3 pages)
- Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Chief Bromden is half American Indian. His father was a chief named Tee Ah Millatoona, which means The-pine-that-stands-tallest-on-the-mountain. That is why he is able to use the title chief. He took on his mother's last name of Bromden. He grew up in the Columbian gorge. The chief is massive and tall and would appear very intimidating and threatening to those who meet him. He was committed to the hospital and has been there for longer than anyone else, for over 15 years.... [tags: One Flew Over Cuckoos Nest]
719 words (2.1 pages)
- Imagine being stuck in a mental hospital for twenty years where everyone thinks you are deaf and mute. This is what happened to Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. Chief Bromden, or Chief, has lived in a mental hospital for over twenty years. He was admitted to the hospital after serving in the Second World War. He is a six-foot seven-inch tall schizophrenic Indian who has convinced the whole ward that he is deaf and mute, and he is the narrator of the story. He is not a very reliable narrator due to his schizophrenia, so some of the events are distorted.... [tags: mental hospital, chief bromden, god]
1736 words (5 pages)
- Insanity is a blurred line in the eyes of Ken Kesey. He reveals a hidden microcosm of mental illness, debauchery, and tyranny in his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The remarkable account of a con man’s ill-fated journey inside a psychiatric hospital exposes the horrors of troubling malpractices and mistreatments. Through a sane man’s time within a crazy man’s definition of a madhouse, there is exploration and insight for the consequences of submission and aberration from societal norm.... [tags: Insanity and Identity, chief bromden]
1738 words (5 pages)
- Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest The theme of this story “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” according to Daniel Woods is “Power is the predominant theme of Ken Kesey's 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest': who holds power, who doesn't, who wants it, who loses it, how it is used to intimidate and manipulate and for what purposes, and, most especially, how it is disrupted and subverted, challenged, denied and assumed” (http://www.gradesaver.com/ClassicNotes/Titles/cuckoosnest/essays/essay1.html).... [tags: Ken Kesey Flew Cuckoo's Nest Essays]
1184 words (3.4 pages)
- Hero in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey Randle Patrick McMurphy, the main character in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, is the perfect example of a hero. He is committed to a mental institution after faking insanity to get out of a work camp. From the beginning of his presence on the ward, things start to change. He brings in laughter, gambling, profanity and he begins to get the other patients to open up. All of this, however, clashes with the head nurse, Nurse Ratched, who is trying to press conformity and obeying authority.... [tags: One Flew Over Cuckoo?s Nest Ken Kesey Essays]
710 words (2 pages)
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, written by Ken Kesey in 1962, is a book about a lively con man that turns a mental institution upside down with his rambunctious antics and sporadic bouts with the head nurse. Throughout the book, this man shows the others in the institution how to stand up for themselves, to challenge conformity to society and to be who they want to be. It is basically a book of good versus evil, the good being the con man R.P. McMurphy, and the bad being the head nurse, Nurse Ratched.... [tags: One Flew Cuckoo's Nest Kesey]
932 words (2.7 pages)
- Control in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey Ken Kesey?s masterpiece novel One Flew over the Cuckoo?s Nest uses many themes, symbols, and imagery to illustrate the reality of the lives of a group of mental patients. The element of control is a central, arguably the largest, and the most important theme in the novel. The element of control revolves around the two main characters of the novel, Randle P. McMurphy, and Nurse Ratched. These two characters are the exact antithesis of each other, and they both seek to get their own way.... [tags: Papers Ken Kesey Cuckoo Nest Essays]
3216 words (9.2 pages)