One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Fog Essay

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In Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," the fog that envelops Chief Bromden's mind serves as a powerful symbol for the psychological and social forces that shape individual identity while highlighting the importance of rebellion and resistance in the face of oppressive systems. In particular, the fog, which takes the formation of a recurring motif, represents the way in which oppressive systems can distort and erase individuality, rendering individuals powerless and disoriented. This condition has a substantial presence early on in the novel because none of the acutes in the psychiatric ward would dare to defy the administration of Nurse Ratched, a formidable figure who maintains strict control over the institution and its patients …show more content…

During Part 1 of the novel, Chief Bromden's mind is constantly shrouded in a thick fog, representing the sense of powerlessness and disorientation in the face of the oppressive system that was Nurse Ratched and the psychiatric ward. As Bromden narrates, "They start the fog machine again and it’s snowing down cold and white all over me like skim milk, so thick I might even be able to hide in it if they didn’t have a hold on me. I can’t see six inches in front of me through the fog" (Pg 6). The fog is so dense that Bromden is blind from viewing the world clearly; it serves as a rendition of his inability to witness and comprehend the reality of the oppressive system in which he lives. Bromden's sense of being entrapped in the fog is also reflected by other patients in the ward who are too afraid to challenge Nurse Ratched's authority. This behavior is due to her initial representation of an authoritarian figure who controls every aspect of their lives on the ward and their fear of retribution if they speak out against her. In the early stages of the novel, Nurse Ratched uses several tactics to maintain her control over the hospital and its patients. One of her primary tactics is to establish a rigid and authoritarian system of rules and regulations that leave no room for deviation or individuality. She strictly enforces these rules, punishing patients who disobey them with electroshock therapy or confinement. Additionally, she manipulates the patients by offering small privileges, such as sleeping in or access to the dayroom, as rewards for conforming to her expectations. This system of reward and punishment further reinforces the idea that the patient's behavior is solely under her control. Furthermore, she uses her position of authority to create a sense of dependence in the patients, making them believe that they cannot function

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