Machinery In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey illustrates in the book's final passage Chief Bromden’s escape into nature and freedom from his prior mechanical entrapment.
Kesey outlines in the novel the difference between the hospital, an automatic and controlling institute. To the outside countryside that Bromden observes as representative of freedom, which he breaks free into. This imagery of machinery vs. nature is carefully crafted by Kesey within diction and imagery of scenes and characters. Where this is most prominent however, are the scenes Bromden experiences solely at night. In the first Bromden experiences a dream where he is awake and can hear “the low whine of devices in the walls gets quieter and quieter, till it hums down to
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In the final scene Kesey ties up all themes to machinery and control within the hospital by having Bromden “carry the panel through the screen and window with a ripping crash” (271). The panel is a symbol in the book for control, barriers, and machinery. It holds McMurphy and Bromden back throughout the story because McMurphy is unable to move it in his bet with the other Acutes. Which follows him making Bromden more powerful until he himself can move the panel. Although McMurphy is past and Bromden has moved on from him, Bromden learns that he has the power to escape the hospital. To break free and to escape, running away into nature “taking huge strides as I ran, seeming to step and float a long ways before my next foot struck the earth. I felt like I was flying. Free” (272). Bromden directly connects himself striking the earth, nature, to being “free”. He has surpassed his beliefs and limitations that noone can beat society by overpowering the panel and using it to break out of the hospital. Including the fact that as he re-enters nature he says “I been away a long time,” a final message that he has returned to freedom by
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