One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Length: 1516 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Chief is the narrator because if McMurphy were the narrator, he could not quite be telling the story as a fable. He would be empowered to control the path of the narrative--if he were still sane. But Chief, who has not been lobotomized but freed, recounts McMurphy's story and takes the lesson to the outside world. He becomes the messenger.
Chief Bromden believes in the "fog" and the power of the "Combine." The fog is, on an individual level, a kind of mental dimness or confusion that also represents the thickness of delusion and suffering that prevents the inmates from seeing their true situation and their true selves. The Combine is, on a social level, a repressive institution and all the individual wheels and cogs in it that ensures that the inmates stay quiescent.
When McMurphy supposedly oversleeps and is discovered, we must question the depth of his motivation to escape. McMurphy has found deep fulfillment in helping the men in the ward, especially Bromden, despite his increasing personal frustration. But he also has been letting his frustration distance himself somewhat from his initial efforts at leadership. McMurphy may well be the kind of person who is immoderate in his desires and who might end up oversleeping even while he might have preferred to escape.
McMurphy has figuratively disrobed Nurse Ratched, disempowering her and because she has been exposed as human. Her power over the men is further broken, despite her clear victory over McMurphy as an individual. "Thoughts are free," but if part of one's brain has been removed, one does not even have much in the way of thoughts. Ratched has been stripped of much of her authority, her credibility in the overall institution has been further eroded, and Bromden finally gains the independence to escape.
Nurse Ratched is nominally the villain, but she symbolizes a somewhat broken institutional system and the problems of a larger, repressive society that subjugates individualism to conformity. She is part of the Combine, and another upon her demise will likely take her place in the machine. Still, she is particularly cruel at a level beyond that of the other doctors and nurses.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey, each character is a representation of something else. Randle McMurphy represents an outside world/nature and Nurse Ratched represents the inside world and is a manipulator. However, Chief Bromden is different. He is depicted as an adherent, the balance between the outside and inside world, and a follower of McMurphy.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." 03 Apr 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Analysis Essay

- Absolute power corrupts absolutely. In the psychological novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, this statement is not just a cliche but a prominent theme throughout the novel. Kesey uses a tyrannical nurse and savior like patient to prove that the corruption of power has an effect on others oneself. In the mental ward there are immoral and illegal things going on. Nurse Ratched employs men whose exposure to social injustice and racism on the Outside has created in them an unfocused hate that is a constant source of energy” (“henryPorter”)....   [tags: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest]

Research Papers
1697 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Summary Of ' One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest '

- “There is a point at which everything becomes simple and there is no longer any question of choice, because all you have staked will be lost if you look back. Life 's point of no return.” - Dag Hammarskjold This quote flawlessly describes the state each main character reaches in Chapter 28 of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. By the point of no return, I do not mean that the characters have reached a dead end. My intended meaning is much deeper than that. The point i speak is the point in which they can not revert to their old selves....   [tags: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Randle McMurphy]

Research Papers
2078 words (5.9 pages)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest Essay examples

-         Pros and Cons of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Chaitrangi Patel Eng: 122-03 Prof. Lasky Thesis Statement - The mental institution which restricts the settings and moods the films sets in different scenes. Introduction           >  Name and Director of Film >  Characters II.    Summary of Film          > Jack Nicholson as R.P. McMurphy          > Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched III.     Details in the Film     > Cons     > Pros IV.    Mise en Scene     > Setting     > Cinematography     > Supporting Actors     > Last Scene     V....   [tags: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Randle McMurphy]

Research Papers
1681 words (4.8 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Hoang Tran English 3A - Mr. Nguyen Period 5 11/27/17 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, written by Ken Kesey, takes place within the 1960’s and centralizes its plot around the patients of the mental hospital. The asylum is governed with a matriarchy by Nurse Ratched. Nurse Ratched keeps her dominance within the ward through strict rules that keeps the patients in order. Her ways to keep her patient's intact may be a bit extreme but she is the authority, she knows what is best for the ward....   [tags: Hospital, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest]

Research Papers
1046 words (3 pages)

Malpractice In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Essay

- The nurse-patient relationship is one that is built on a mutual trust and respect that fosters hope and assists in a harmonious healing process. A nurse has the professional duty to the patient to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care to avoid injury. Any negligence in rendering care to the patient is direct disregard and results in malpractice. This is the crux of the problem with Nurse Ratched. In One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nurse Ratched is guilty of malpractice due to the cruel medical treatments she practiced, mental anguish inflicted by her on the patients, as well as the undue authority she had in the hospital that she consistently misused....   [tags: Physician, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest]

Research Papers
1347 words (3.8 pages)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest Essay

- The society that we live in today has shaped individuals perspectives on what is right or wrong. Take for instance; I acquire a metal pot and a wooden spoon and advance to the streets of the University of Nebraska, Omaha. I am right next to the stop sign of the HPER building. I sit down and sat drumming up any sort of rhyme. The chance that I will looked at crazy or even called crazy will be over 90%. What defines humans as crazy. Who is the person that made this rules. These are the kind of questions the play “ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST” is trying to ask....   [tags: Randle McMurphy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest]

Research Papers
771 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest

- Ken Kesey in his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest question a lot of things that you think almost everyday. With this famous portrait of a mental institute its rebellious patients and domineering caretakers counter-culture icon Kesey is doing a whole lot more than just spinning a great yarn. He is asking us to stop and consider how what we call "normal" is forced upon each and every one of us. Stepping out of line, going against the grain, swimming upstream whatever your metaphor, there is a steep price to pay for that kind of behavior....   [tags: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Randle McMurphy]

Research Papers
711 words (2 pages)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Essay

- One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest      Sometimes in life people are forced to conform to a certain situation for lack of a better alternative, and this is the case in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. These such people lack the will to stand up for their scruples, and intern are simply guided through their mundane lives by the powers that be. Until someone comes along offering them leadership and the prospect to become “big again.” The man who does so is no other than R.P. McMurphy. Scanlon, Harding, Bibbit, and Chief Bromden may have become adjusted to the oppressive system in which they lived, but certainly were much better adjusted to the real world and life in general after their experienc...   [tags: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest]

Research Papers
1632 words (4.7 pages)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey Essay

- 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]

Free Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Essay

- Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is a multidimensional novel with many important messages in which Kesey strives to relay to the readers. Kesey did not write this novel for the sole purpose of entertainment, even though it was very entertaining, but did write it with the intent to show the readers many realities of life. First of all Kesey shows in this book that how people are perceived in society may not really be how that person is and that things are sometimes different than what they seem....   [tags: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Essays]

Research Papers
852 words (2.4 pages)

Related Searches

The Chief represents progress because throughout the movie he is traveling through his own life journey.
The Chief is also the narrator of the novel. He tells the reader everything that is going on within the walls of the ward. Even though he is the narrator and is telling the stories of the other men in the ward, he is also telling his own story about his journey back towards sanity. The Chief suffers from paranoia and hallucinations and has been in the ward longer than any other patient. Even though he is six feet seven inches, he tries to hide himself. He pretends to be a deaf mute at the ward as a tactic to prevent harassment by the other men and Nurse Ratched.
There is much strength associated with both speech and silence. One can use either to their advantage in a power struggle. In the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Randle Patrick McMurphy and Nurse Ratched employ the power of speech and Chief Bromden uses the power of silence until the end of the novel when he gains the power of speech. These cases prove that the greatest power is not held in speech or silence alone, but in the effective combination of the two. Many people believe verbal communication to be a very powerful way of expressing oneself. Words gain their power when the volume is raised and lowered alternatively to make a point. Additionally, the influence of speech can manifest itself in a number of ways. It can be used to humiliate, to intimidate, to flirt and to threaten, all of which are integral and pragmatic strategies to win a power struggle. McMurphy uses his power of speech to rally his fellow patients against Nurse Ratched who is constantly revoking their privileges. He also uses it furtively to acquire all that he desires, by conning the other patients. Throughout the movie he is very loud and is known for his unwavering ability to speak his mind and confront those that oppose him. Nurse Ratched uses her voice throughout the movie to intimidate the patients. She is the antagonist of the movie. The patients obsequiously follow Ratched’s command, until McMurphy comes along. They all fear that she will send them for shock therapy if they don’t obey her. Nurse Ratched is the most daunting person of the movie, due in large part to the use of her voice. . Throughout the novel both McMurphy and Nurse Ratched are continually trying to pull each other down. Nurse Ratched using her dominant speaking skills tries to prove to the patients that McMurphy is conning them with his vocalizations, “Look at some of these gifts, as devoted fans of his might call them. First, there was the gift of the tub room. Was that actually his to give? Did he lose anything by acquiring it as a gambling casino? On the other hand, how much do you suppose he made in the short time he was croupier of his little Monte Carlo here on the ward? How much did you lose … I think you all have some idea what your personal losses were, but do you know what his total winning came to, according to deposits he has made at Funds? Almost three hundred dollars.” The Nurse begins to convince the patients that McMurphy is harming them more than helping them. Chief Bromden uses silence very effectively to his advantage. Everyone thinks that he is deaf and dumb, however, his or her perception proves to be erroneous, as we learn at the end. Chief Bromden is a very large man who falsely thinks of himself as being rather diminutive. For him, Chief Bromden’s silence is extremely potent. He is able to hear everything that went on in the meetings where the doctors and nurses discuss the future of the patients. The doctors and nurses don’t think that Chief Bromden can hear what they are saying. They don’t hesitate to say anything in front of him. “They don’t bother not talking out loud about their hate secrets when I’m nearby because they think I’m deaf and dumb.” This is very beneficial because chief Bromden knows what takes place in the ward, and knows what it takes to survive. Silence, however, is not the sole manifestation of control that Bromden utilizes. After Chief Bromden gains all the information that he needs he has no way to act upon it unless he demonstrates the utility of speech. He can protect himself without this ability, but he can’t prevail without it. For Bromden, speech is just as much a key to success as silence is. Thus the combination proves to be the most potent. McMurphy’s realization that Chief Bromden is not really deaf and dumb marks a significant turning point in the movie. It is the first time that anyone hears Chief Bromden speak since he entered the ward fifteen years earlier. The Chief starts talking to McMurphy and his fog disappears. After the Chief begins talking he relishes conveying tales of his childhood and other experiences to McMurphy. As a child he was treated as though he was invisible, enabling him to perfect his skill of listening and not responding, therefore, his pretending to be a deaf mute is rather facile. Ever since Bromden’s revelation that he is not the deaf mute he is perceived to be, he slowly gains more power. Conversely McMurphy and Nurse Ratched are enervated. In the conclusion of the movie, McMurphy loses his sanity and attacks Nurse Ratcheds. Fortunately, the other patients have recovered, due to his efforts, and do not require his services anymore. Even the Chief is restored to his full mental capacity, acting with both logic and sanity, thanks to McMurphy. However, McMurphy’s fate is not as promising. In light of his violation of Nurse Ratched, McMurphy is subject to a lobotomy. The fact that McMurphy is forced to endure such a surgery is strangely ironic. It is McMurphy who has propelled Chief Bromden’s “Psychological restoration,” and now he, physically, is subject to the same ail nesses that were fallaciously believed to plague the chief. Nurse Ratched too suffers a similar fate as McMurphy, as she can no longer verbally communicate, due to the injuries she sustained from McMurphy’s attack. In a paradigm of role reversal, Chief Bromden has become the apex of the ward’s power triangle. He is the sole individual, who is able to utilize both speech and silence. Ultimately, Bromden escapes the ward, effectively fleeing from his past, and is on the path to a more promising future.
Return to