Dr. Ken Kesey 's The Hero 's Journey Essay

Dr. Ken Kesey 's The Hero 's Journey Essay

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Chief Bromden, known as Chief Broom, is a long-term patient that serves in the psychiatric ward due to his schizophrenic condition. Because of his condition, he creates many hallucinations. For example, he believes that he can hear mechanical operations behind the walls of the psychiatric ward. In discussion of Chief Bromden, one controversial issue has been whether or not he is a heroic figure because of his hallucinations, failing to address the real events in the novel. On the other hand, many contend how Chief Bromden is a hero utilizes his surroundings and observations to overcome his psychosis. I believe that Ken Kesey portrays Chief Bromden as a figure who completes the hero’s journey because he overcomes his own psychosis and decides to express himself and live his own life.
Chief Bromden begins to develop a sense of existence. Before, Chief Bromden is described as a patient who is deaf. Because everyone assumes that Chief Bromden can not hear, Chief is able to listen to all the information that is kept from other patients inside the ward: “they don’t bother not talking out loud about their hate secrets when I’m nearby because they think I’m deaf and dumb… I’m cagey enough to fool them that much” (3). Due to his “impaired hearing”, no individual at the ward approaches Chief because they judge him. For instance, _____ states, “‘There’s not m-much he can do, I guess. He’s deaf… If I was d-d-deaf,’-he sighed- ‘I would kill myself’” (24). After McMurphy enters the psychiatric ward, he begins to speak to Chief Bromden as a friend, despite no responses. Chief Bromden receives his call to adventure when he decides to use his voice. When McMurphy wants the ward to show the World Series game, Nurse Ratched demands McMurphy to win...


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... has an identity.
Chief Bromden becomes a new and improved man. After he escapes the ward, Bromden returns back to his own home. With McMurphy’s help and friendship, Bromden is able to adapt McMurphy’s words and is able to start a new life as a real individual. Not only is he able to escape and return to home with his family, he also overcomes his own psychosis. Similar to Susanna Kaysen, Bromden becomes an individual who helps out other patients at the ward accomplishing their goal. Bromden surpasses the final stage of Maslow’s hierarchy needs, which is self-actualization. He realizes his personal potential, self-fulfillment, leading him to grow up as a responsible adult through his experiences.
In conclusion, Chief Bromden is a worthy figure because he exceeds the hero’s journey, overcomes his own psychosis, and decides to express himself and live his own life.

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