One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Symbolism Analysis

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In the modern classic novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey uses symbolism effectively in order to shape and reinforce the theme of societies corruption of innocent minds throughout the novel. The mental ward combine effectively symbolizes the isolation of the mentally ill. Throughout Ken Kesey’s novel, the mental ward is secluded and acts as a barrier to prevent the mentally ill patients from being exposed the rest of society. As stated by Chief, “McMurphy doesn’t know it, but he’s onto what I realized a long time back, that it’s not just the Big Nurse by herself, but it’s the whole Combine, the nation-wide Combine that’s the really big force, and the nurse is just a high-ranking official for them” (Kesey 165). She epitomizes the dynamic force in society which Chief Broom calls the Combine. The combine is “a huge organization that aims to adjust the Outside as well as she has the Inside”. She, therefore, is a real veteran at adjusting things(26) (Francis 56). The Combine and all the staff who run it have immense control and power over the patient's thoughts, actions and behaviours. A type of institution such as this has the ability to isolate each patient from one another which is similar to the way in which society groups certain individuals but to the extreme. Isolation is also made…show more content…
The symbols reinforce the oppression and destruction of society. As previously discussed, Ken Kesey’s creation of the authoritarian style mental ward; Combine, is effective in portraying the hypocrisies of society. Just as the control panel featured in the novel represents the controlling ways society implements people’s decisions and acts a obstacle of freedom. Lastly, the fog machine that Chief Bromden describes, effectively shows how manipulative and unrealistic societal expectations
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