One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Foreshadowing Analysis

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Foreshadowing is a very powerful literary device used in most, if not all, pieces of literature. Authors who intentionally add this aspect to their story use it as a way of building anticipation in the reader’s mind, thus adding the feeling of suspense. Ken Kesey masterfully applies this concept throughout his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by utilizing the intricate web of connections that he spins between characters and other elements present in the text. McMurphy’s eventual downfall is foreshadowed through subjects that he is subtly linked to such as both the dog and Ruckly. McMurphy’s behavioural patterns are likened to a dog several times in times throughout the novel, such as when Chief Bromden describes him sitting down, “He goes over to his chair, gives another big stretch and yawn, sits down and moves around for a while like a dog coming to rest” (Kesey 48), and when Harding says, “Friend… you… may be a wolf… You have a very wolfy roar,” (67). Due to McMurphy’s strong connection to dogs, much can be foreshadowed through events in…show more content…
Chief Bromden describes his early days as, Ruckly is another Chronic came in a few years back as an Acute, but him they overloaded in a different way: they made a mistake in one of their head installations. He was being a holy nuisance all over the place, kicking the black boys and biting the student nurses on the legs, so they took him away to be fixed. They strapped him to that table, and the last anybody saw of him for a while was just before they shut the door on him; he winked, just before the door closed, and told the black boys as they backed away from him, ‘You’ll pay for this, you damn tarbabies’ (Kesey 16) In this short segment, Ruckly exhibits much of his personality, most of which aligns with McMurphy’s tendencies. Ruckly displays his violent nature through his aggressive behaviour towards the ward staff. These actions

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