Democracy In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

524 Words3 Pages
In order to address the modern perversion of democracy, Ken Kesey constructs the mental institution as a microcosm of society, which serves as a lens to examine the autocratic state of government and its promotion of mass ignorance, and condemnation of dissent within Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Most significantly, Kesey depicts the doctor’s deceptive expression of the “Therapeutic Community [as] a democratic ward, run completely by the patients and their votes”(48). Although Spivey and many of the patients firmly hold onto this belief of possessing self-determination, Kesey indicates that the ward’s mission statement is merely an optimistic delusion to appease the patients by making it appear as though their opinion matters; however, the grim reality of the…show more content…
For, before the second vote on watching the World Series, Bromden reveals that the, “fog is rolling in thicker than [he] has ever seen before,” and that, “the more [he] thinks about how nothing can be helped, the faster the fog rolls in”(101). Here, Kesey presents the Nurse’s sedation of the inmates into a state of blissful ignorance by impairing their cognitive abilities with electroshock. With intense concentration and McMurphy’s charismatic rebellion “[pulling] people out of the fog,” Bromden is finally able to overcome his addled state and controversially sway the vote by securing the majority vote, a concept which had perpetuated the Nurse’s reign since out of the forty patients, many Chronics such as Ellis and Ruckley were simply incapable of voting (123). Thus, Kesey also comments on the often-tyrannical nature of majorities in a democratic government by demonstrating their formidable power to oppress minorities and prevent political
Open Document