Chief Bromden In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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In the novel “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, the narrator, Chief Bromden, tells the reader a terrible tale. At the end of the first chapter, he prepares the reader for what is to come. With the saying “But it’s the truth, even if it didn’t happen”(8), he says that even though what he will narrate sounds too horrible to be true, it is. This harbinger points to how the institute tears down the patients so much that they will come to find laughter as something to help them take back their freedom. The hospital ward is controlled and dominated by Nurse Ratched, who has over the years gained enough power to now control every thing and person in the ward. She runs the ward—outfit—like a “smooth, accurate, precision-made machine”(22). She is intolerant of any deviation or variation from the regiment that she has been accustomed to imposing. She manipulates the ward by using a perfect system of punishments, rewards and interpersonal conflict. For example, Chief tells about how she will reward the inmates with extra sleep in the mornings if they rat on each other by writing down information in Nurse Ratched’s logbook. She will also punish them with electroshock therapy if they do not do what she says. A result of this oppression and emasculation is the lack of laughter. Chief…show more content…
Laughter is necessary to be healthy, especially under bad circumstances. Like Lincoln said, “With the fearful strain that is on me day and night, if I did not laugh I should die”(BrainyQuote). The lack of laughter on the ward is an indication of how the nurse had managed to destroy the inmates’ inner being. Their inner being has essentially died, and is no longer functioning like it
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