One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Analysis

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In his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey masterfully combines metaphors and imagery into a piece of art. The story is narrated from the viewpoint of Bromden, a chronic, who is the longest living member of the ward. This perspective introduces an unconventional view of what turns the gears of typical conformist society. During his confinement, Bromden is introduced to McMurphy, a rambunctious hothead who symbolically challenges the beliefs of the patients. The resulting novel uses the fog, the machine, the Combine, and religious imagery as a culminating analysis of societal problems and the people who cause them. Kesey chooses Bromden, a dynamic character of questionable reliability, as the narrator to relay the experience and mindset of a patient to the reader. Bromden commonly visualizes the ward as being screened by a fog, an important factor when considering McMurphy’s effect on the ward. Before McMurphy was committed into the ward, there was an air of paranoia due to the patient 's’ belief that they were powerless to stop the cruelty of the black boys. However, he brings with him a change in atmosphere, making “everybody over there feel uneasy, with all his kidding and joking and with the brassy way he hollers at that black boy who’s still after him… and especially with that big wide-open laugh of his” (18-19). This change in atmosphere symbolically influences the prevalence of the fog. The origin of this fog is revealed in one of Bromden’s flashbacks: it
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