A famous Chinese proverb states, “One dog barks at something and a hundred bark at the bark”. This use of animal imagery to explain the issues with human behavior can also be seen in Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The novel, told through the eyes of schizophrenic chronic Chief Bromden, revolves around R. P. McMurphy helping the patients overcome their fear of Nurse Ratched and her power and control over the ward. Throughout the book, Kesey uses animal imagery to depict the personalities and behaviors of Nurse Ratched, McMurphy, and the patients. Nurse Ratched is a wolf, and she thrives off of her overbearing control over the patients in the ward and enjoys having everything conform to her set of rules. McMurphy, Nurse
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In Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the universal message that authority can be enforced through matriarchal practices which forces inferior individuals to conform to society’s standards is prevalent throughout the novel. Characters throughout the novel depict the possible outcomes of someone subject to conformity under matriarchal authority. Nurse Ratched is the epitome of conformity. She uses her power to instill fear in her patients and her authority forces them to conform to society’s standards. Patients throughout the novel experience a conflict of man vs. society.
Relationships with authority figures in our lives can be incredibly complex. This can be seen in the passage from Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, between the narrator, Chief Bromden and Nurse Ratched. By using literary elements such as dehumanizing word choice, objectifying characterization, and an unreliable narrator , Kesey is able to convey the respecting yet fearful power dynamic in Chief's mind. Throughout the entire passage, the words chosen are used to make the Nurse seem like a monster, and an inhuman machine. Her finger and lips are a "funny orange", compared to a soldering iron, which is able to bring on extreme pain with just a touch.
Ken Kesey’s comic novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, takes place in an all-male psychiatric ward. The head of the ward, Big Nurse Ratched, is female. Kesey explores the power-struggle that takes place when the characters challenge gender dynamics in this environment. One newly-arrived patient, McMurphy, leads the men against the Big Nurse. The story is told through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a patient who learns from McMurphy and fights for his freedom.
Kesey’s perspective on society is illuminated through Nurse Ratched’s tyrannical ward which has been influenced by the time, place and the culture of 1960s American Society. ADOLF HITLER / MCCARTHYISM Ken Kesey’s, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest presents a confronting satire, in which Nurse Ratched’s oppressive and tyrannical government in the ward prevents freedom and self-expression. Nurse Ratched’s manipulation of patients and tyrannical rule over the ward is comparable to Adolf Hitler’s rule over Nazi Germany. Similar to Adolf Hitler, an egomaniac, Nurse Ratched, portrays institutional authorities, mercilessly punishing patients and manipulating them into conforming with her ideas of a perfect society.
Throughout Ken Kesey’s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the balance of power is challenged in the psychiatric ward. Out of the several leaders that appear in the novel, Nurse Ratched and McMurphy are the most prominent. During Nurse Ratched and McMurphy struggle for power, they share many of the same qualities. It is argued that: “McMurphy and Ratched are alike in intelligence, military service, distinctive (if opposite) clothing, and conventionally masculine qualities” (Evans). These small similarities; however, do not distract the characters from fighting for their individual beliefs.
Forcing people to follow a societal norm is detrimental to the health of the mind and body. The struggle between conformers and non conformers creates a schism in society. In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey asserts the overarching importance of individuality through the use of a conflict between the patients and the nurse as a microcosm of society. In the novel, the delusions of the narrator create a surreal world that reveals a strong message on the nature of conformity.
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.
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.
Everyone Agree? Perfect. "Nothing builds authority up like silence, splendor of the strong and shelter of the weak" (Charles de Gaulle). This idea is reflected in Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, where it is shown how authority becomes more powerful by abusing the silence of the people.
Weather in literature is often used to symbolize the mood or mental state in which a character experiences. For example, rain is commonly associated with sadness. As it is commonly identified, fog is a cloudy element of weather that affects one’s ability to see clearly, however, it is also used in literature to represent a character’s lack of clarity. Throughout One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, the motif of fog is used to represent the mental instability and confusion Bromden experiences under Nurse Ratched’s ward. As the story progresses and Bromden gains confidence, the fog diminishes and he is able to overcome the Big Nurse.
The author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Kesey, presents the ideas about venerability and strength by using his characters and the way they interact with each other to establish whether they are a submissive or a dominant, tamed or leading, venerable or strong. Kesey uses strong personalities to show the drastic difference between someone who is vulnerable and someone who is strong. Nurse Ratchet is a perfect example of how Kasey presents the idea of strength over the venerability of others (the patients). Keys also exhibited vulnerability throughout characters such as Chief Bromden and his extensive habit of hiding himself in all means possible from Nurse Ratchet. Another idea presented by Kesey is a character’s false thought on what
Kesey argues that wolves are the threatening forces that dictate the lifestyle of rabbits. The wolf asserts her dominance over the rabbits and controls their potential for freedom. All the while, Nurse Ratched’s dominance is found in her direct control of the machine that is the mental hospital. According to Chief Bromden, Nurse Ratched can “turn that dial to a dead stop and freeze the sun” or “set the wall clock at whatever speed she wants” (71, 70). Here, Kesey gives Nurse Ratched literal control of the settings of the hospital to imply she desires social or spiritual control of the ward as
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey reveals the insensitive treatment and dehumanization of the mentally ill. The origin of the book is a story of an individual in a mental hospital. Ken Kesey’s character observes the daily life in a psych ward and reveals
“One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest” is a film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the novel by Ken Kesey. The Film was released in 1975. It is the story of a convicted man, trying to outsmart the American legal system by playing mentally ill. The film starts at the beginning when the main character, Randle McMurphy, enters the mental institution. It won 6 Golden Globes as well as 5 Oscars and many other nominations.
The movie “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” gives an inside look into the life of a patient living in a mental institution; helping to give a new definition of mental illnesses. From a medical standpoint, determinants of mental illness are considered to be internal; physically and in the mind, while they are seen as external; in the environment or the person’s social situation, from a sociological perspective (Stockton, 2014). Additionally, the movie also explores the idea of power relations that exist between an authorized person (Nurse Ratched) and a patient and further looks into the punishment a deviant actor receives (ie. McMurphy contesting Nurse Ratched). One of the sociological themes that I have observed is conformity.