One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Invisibility Analysis

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The Power of Invisibility
In his book, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey uses the idea of invisibility to represent how his character, Bromden, survived in a mental institution. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of invisibility is “incapable by nature of being seen” (“invisibility”). Bromden, being a Native American, is very in tune to nature and was taken away from it once he was put in the mental institution. In order to stay sane while in the institution, Bromden pretended to be a deaf/mute. By doing so Bromden became invisible to the world around him. He was able to sit back and listen to everything going on around him without anyone knowing it. He could gain knowledge of information of which he had no authorization
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Bromden uses the fog to hide and make himself invisible when he feels threatened or uneasy in any way. Bromden says, “Right and left there are other things happening just as bad—crazy, horrible things too goofy and outlandish to cry about and too much true to laugh about—but the fog is getting thick enough I don’t have to watch” (Kesey 87). The fog is his place of refuge when he feels the need for protection. When someone wakes him from the fog, they say he was just having a bad dream. Bromden feels pulled from the fog against his will forced to face reality again. It scares him that the mechanism he uses for protection can be beaten down by the people around him. Not only does it scare him that people can bring him out of his hiding place, but it also scares him because he thinks that the fog controls the other…show more content…
Before he started to teach them, Bromden caught on to what he was trying to do. Bromden says, “Nobody complains about all the fog. I know why, now: as bad as it is, you can slip back in it and feel safe. That’s what McMurphy can’t understand, us wanting to be safe. He keeps trying to drag us out of the fog, out in the open where we’d be easy to get at.” (Kesey 123). Bromden realized that McMurphy was trying to teach them that in order to survive, the patients needed to step out of their comfort zones and be free from safety. McMurphy realized that the fog was like a security blanket to Bromden and that he needed to get rid of it in order to gain his confidence back. He wanted Bromden to realize that he was more than just a patient in a mental institution. He wanted him to realize that his life had purpose. Once McMurphy gave Bromden the confidence he needed, the fog had finally lifted. Bromden says, “There’s no more fog any place” (Kesey 141). Throughout the book, the fog had only been brought on by Bromden when he was in a situation that he didn’t want to be in. Bromden was the one hallucinating the fog so that he could hide. However, the fog was not real so he really was not hiding from anything. Once McMurphy helped him realize that, he became a new, confident, man. Bromden no longer had to hide because he thought he was insignificant. He could now be anyone

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