One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

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QUESTION Was Forman compelled to change the point of view in his adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest? ANSWER Forman was compelled to change the point of view in adapting the book into a film. REASONING A. In the book Chief Bromden’s thoughts go from stark reality and understanding to dreams and visions which would be difficult for an audience to follow. B. The confusion created by the Chief’s switches from reality to fantasy is possible in literary form due to the amount of detail and analysis, which can be put down on paper. However, this is impossible for a director to capture the same understanding and depth in a two-hour film. C. Chief Bromden’s thoughts and hallucinations, which are the narration in the book, are erratic and crazy when not compared and elaborated. In a film, it is not always possible to clarify on the type of details found in the book. D. There is not enough time nor is it possible to elucidate into the amount of detail which Ken Kesey goes into in the book. This is due to the fact that Chief Bromden starts out playing deaf and dumb and even when he does begin to talk it is not in great amounts or details. In order to capture the heart of the story a director would have to use a broader narration, which a diverse audience could understand. E. A book allows for great amounts of details due to the depth of words and the imagery they can evoke in a readers mind. There is not enough time in a film for all the detail of a book to come out and explain every single character to an audience, which needs to be constantly entertained to keep their focus. CITATIONS This is an autobiographical reference to how Ken Kesey came to write One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and the processes, which made it realistic and fantastical at the same time. “But also at the same time Bromden is an unreliable witness he is also an extremely reliable one. We feel he tells us the truth about McMurphy; in fact, he tells it with such penetration and insight that it has a consistent and coherent shape and meaning for us. The combination of hallucination and truth in the narration is a notable stylistic accomplishment. Fact and fantasy alternate, but the reader has no difficulty distinguishing one from the other, and thus they successfully complement each other.
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