The Origins of Madness in One Who Flew Off The Cuckoo's Nest The book, One who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey, is an eccentric story on the cruel treatment of patients within psychiatric wards in the 1960s. It is told from the narration of an indigenous man, named Chief Bromden, a character who is deeply conflicted and wounded inside, as he narrates the story of another patient McMurphy. McMurphy is not like Chief, nor any of the other patients for that matter, for he is a man who refuses to follow the wards rules and does whatever it takes in the book to strip the head nurse, Miss Ratched, of her power, in a fight for the patients, sovereignty within the ward. His rebellious attitude unfolds and the consequences begin unveiling
Thus leading the others into following mcmurphy’s actions making him a leader. One of the patient's, Chief bromden who people thought was deaf and dumb was also influenced by McMurphy, when mcmurphy first came chief acted almost as if he was invisible, as if he was too small. Mcmurphy had asked the nurse if they could watch the world series instead of sticking to Nurses schedule. This resulted in a vote where it came down to a tie between the acutes. Mcmurphy needed one more patient to raise their hand and Chief ended up raising his own hand even though everyone thought he was deaf and dumb.
This quote demonstrates the symbolism of laughter, because like the way McMurphy exudes strength, he is also emblematically exuding laughter, thus further connecting the two. The reason Chief can’t recall a “real” laugh is because he, Billy Bibbit, Harding, and all the other men have never felt strong enough under the nurse’s rule. She controls the men through her manipulative and authoritarian attitude, creating an atmosphere of unease, consequently making the idea of laughter completely unfathomable to the patients seen in “The air pressed in by the walls too tight for laughing.” She is able to belittle the men to the point that she chips away at their self esteem and self image proven by the fact Chief believes he is a small man,
This improvement, brought about as a response to McMurphy's actions, serves as the delivery system for this message. However, Kesey's full idea that one must completely break free from oppressive societal control is not fully realized until Ratched retaliates against McMurphy. As the novel reaches its closing, McMurphy’s presence is at full effect. The men are seemingly free in the ward. They are openly laughing, drinking, and even sneaking women into the ward.
When McMurphy laughs, “it’s so genuine that he spread[s] his laugh out across the water” (Keasy 250). While his laughter is not literally spreading across the water, it is so genuine and infectious, that its joy and power burst out of him and can be heard for a very long distance. By laughing so genuinely, McMurphy also gives that power to each of the patients that are with him. His laughter quickly becomes their laughter, and soon they are all laughing together.
I can understand why the team would write and shoot from McMurphy’s perspective, as he’s the character that evokes the change in the ward. But from a stance of character development, it doesn’t make much sense. In the original novel by Ken Kesey, the Chief is the protagonist, which actually clarifies a lot. Even in the film, the Chief is the most dynamic character who evolves from not interacting with anyone to being the first to successfully escape the institution. Although I understand the decision, I think the film could have been stronger if the Chief was framed as the
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, considers the qualities in which society determines sanity. The label of insanity is given when someone is different from the perceived norm. Conversely, a person is perceived as sane when their behavior is consistent with the beliefs of the majority. Although the characters of this novel are patients of a mental institution, they all show qualities of sanity. The book is narrated by Chief Brodmen, an observant chronic psychiatric patient, who many believe to be deaf and dumb.
This was a very important way to show that the Chief had finally become independent again. Because McMurphy had helped him regain his strength for becoming an independent individual “Chief develops mentally from a person who originally could not see past the ‘fog’, into a reborn man” (King). At the beginning of the novel
Ken Kesey uses his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, to describe the lives of patients in a mental institution, and their struggle to overcome the oppressive authority under which they are living. Told from the point of view of a supposedly mute schizophrenic, the novel also shines a light on the many disorders present in the patients, as well as how their illnesses affect their lives during a time when little known about these disorders, and when patients living with these illnesses were seen as an extreme threat. Chief Bromden, the narrator of the novel, has many mental illnesses, but he learns to accept himself and embrace his differences. Through the heroism introduced through Randle McMurphy, Chief becomes confident in himself, and is ultimately able to escape from the toxic environment Nurse Ratched has created on the ward. Chief has many disorders including schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and, in addition to these illnesses, he pretends to be deaf and dumb.
In depth, laughter is more complex; it might have a connection to the brain’s neurological mechanism, which detects laughter. At last, Provine proves that laughter improves our mental and physical state. Provine uses Doctor Lee Berk’s research results to improve his statement. In Berk’s results, he concluded that laughter reduces the level of catecholamines and other hormones in the body. The elements reduce the level of stress, which can be related to a stronger immune system.
For example, on their fishing excursion McMurphy “knows [they] have to laugh at the things that hurt... to keep the world from running plumb crazy… he’ll let the humor blot out the pain” (Kesey 250). Accepting the absurdity and adopting a sense of humor is important to get through the negative and spread laughter and joy rather than accept the dull fate of ordinary life. McMurphy acts as a savior who brings happiness and vibrant life to the patients by exposing them to laughter and humor. McMurphy gives confidence to the
His rebellious and free mind makes the patients open their eyes and see how the have been suppressed. His appearance is a breath of fresh air and a look into the outside world for the patients. This clearly weakens Nurse Ratched’s powers, and she sees him as a large threat. One way or another, McMurphy tends to instigate changes of scenery. He manages to move everyone away from her music and watchful eye into the old tube room.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest The film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, prompts very important aspect of the human condition. In the movie, the protagonist, Mac McMurphy, is deemed dangerous, so the mental institute tries to suppress him (Kesey). The film highlights various aspects of human conditions like psychology, sociology and philosophy. The mental institute tries to suppress the mentally challenged people rather than to try to communicate with them.
Comedy is often used as a method of escape. It separates us from reality which at times, can become quite overwhelming, especially in a work environment. After a long day of hard work we seek out a method of relaxation. Theories of laughter have proved to be very effective. Superiority theory, incongruity theory and the relief theory.