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Was Forman compelled to change the point of view in his adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest?
Forman was compelled to change the point of view in adapting the book into a film.
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.
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
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This is an internet study source, which analyzes and elaborates on certain parts of the book.
“The Chief's seemingly random and irrational hallucinations, confusing at first, gain clarity when we see that in fact they are carefully organized to give us an understanding of the hospital we would never receive from a more traditional narrator. If we compare the characters' surface appearances to the deeper portrayals of them the Chief gives us, we can see his value.”
This analysis breaks the book down into digestible pieces of coherence and detail.
“The presentation of the story through the tortured consciousness of a sick man who becomes well enables the reader to move with Bromden from the stultifying fog of fear to the sunlit sky of human freedom and possibility. Bromden, then, is Kesey’s poet and synecdochist. He is a fragmented man viewing fragmented men from a psychic distance that distorts wholes yet clarifies parts.”
This critical analysis focuses on the symbolism captured in the book as well as the movie and how these differences relate to the audience and their understanding of the story.
“In the book, Chief Bromden, a deaf and dumb Indian, is the narrator and the story is told through his eyes. An omniscient camera that seems to follow the patients however narrates the movie. There is no outside force influencing how the events are interpreted. This unbiased point of view is how Forman wished it to be; he is known for his ability to accentuate realism within a film.”
This synopsis of the book looks into the underlying metaphors and the symbols, which create the flowing picture of the story.
“The film also removes the narrative of Chief Bromden and the fogs, hallucinations and machines of the combine. It becomes a third person objective account of the struggle between an individual and the establishment. At the end of the film only the Chief leaves, and then ambiguously; the other men stay on.”
1. Tanner, Stephen L. Ken Kesey. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1983
2. Fish, Peter. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey - Barron's Booknotes”. Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 19 Nov 2004
3. Porter, M. Gilbert. The Art of Grit. University of Missouri Press, 1982.
4. Griffin, Stefanie. “A Guide to One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”. 19 Nov 2004
5. Stagoll, Brian. “One flew over the cuckoo's nest.” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry Feb2003, Vol. 37 Issue 1, p118, 5p