One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Analysis

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Is conformity healthy for individuals in a society? In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, a patient in a mental hospital consistantantly talks about his experience with a fog. Chief Bromden, the narrator of the story, is given pills that cause intermittent hallucinations like people greatly changing size and mechanical sounds in the walls. But his most intense and important hallucination is fog. He describes it as coming out of the walls, so thick that he cannot see his hand in front of his face. Conformity being a main theme of the book, fog is the most important symbol used to represent the idea throughout the story. One example of fog in the novel is Chief Bromden floating in the fog at one of the group meetings. He is lifted out of his seat by a flood thick fog and is carried about the room: “The words come to me like through water, it’s so thick. In fact it’s so much like water it floats me right up out of my chair and I don’t know which end is up for a while.”(Kesey 119). This use of fog gives it an almost inviting quality. The way Chief is suspended and cradled by the fog provides a new take on conformity in the story. The reader is convinced into thinking that the Big Nurse’s rule is a bad thing, until they learn that the fog, in this case, is actually helping Chief survive inside the ward. The protection that conformity provides is what saves Chief, and as the ending of the book proves, stepping out into the open, away from the fog, is what finally gets
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