The motif of freedom has an affect on all the men in the ward. McMurphy loses sense of the possible freedom when he attacks Ratched after the death of Billy and the eventual escape of Chief Bromden. Chief Bromden's perspective in the novel gives a more complex plot line of the book due to his schizophrenia. Schizophrenia throughout One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is used to create a story through the eyes of a patient in the ward. Kesey explains how Bromden wasn’t a personal creation but a spirit of the Indian in the American culture.
There is no freedom amongst the people without a little chaos, yet to maintain order, there must be oppression towards its people. McMurphy upsets the established routine of the ward by bring his own agenda such as, asking for schedule changes and inspiring resistance during therapy sessions. He teaches his peers to have fun and encourages them to embrace their desires such as watching baseball and playing cards. “If somebody’d of come in and took a look, men watching a blank TV, a fifty-year –old woman hollering and squealing at the back of their heads about discipline and order and recriminations, they’d of thought the whole bunch was crazy as loons” (Kesey 134). He convinces them that not only are they sane like everyone else, but also they are men and they are superior to the matriarchal society they are put in.
In the novel, One That Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey sheds light on one of the world’s best kept secrets; the mistreatment of the ‘mentally ill’. Kesey proves that anyone capable of free-thought or having any form of diversity is seen as ‘broken’ and is forced to undergo certain treatments to fit expectations. From lobotomies to electroshock therapy, anything is fair game when it comes to treating those deemed as mentally ill. Bromden, the protagonist in One That Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, views the society he lives in as one that is brutal and oppressive. The hospital he lives in is seen as a ‘mechanic’s shop’ for those that don’t fit right in with the rest of society; a prison for displaced souls. He believes that those that
It is also important to note that Bromden is able to recall this significant childhood memory as it reveals his escape from the Fog. Later, as the men leave the hospital and embark on the fishing trip, their intense psychological conditioning dissipates, and they gradually recover, or revert, to unexpectedly conventional members of society. Significantly, Kesey depicts McMurphy as “[leading] the twelve… towards the ocean” and also as a “fisher of men”(203,198). Obviously, Kesey likens McMurphy to Jesus and the twelve disciples to implicate that McMurphy directs them on a righteous path towards salvation away from the malevolent hospital. Additionally, McMurphy heals the character George, who was previously overwhelmed by thoughts of being unclean, by granting him the powerful role of the ship’s captain.
Author Ken Kesey, in his novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, exemplifies that people can be both mentally and psychically manipulated. He supports his claim by first using examples, then using analysis, and finally using rhetorical questions. Kesey’s purpose is to enlighten the reader in order to exemplify the idea that everything is not always what it seems. He adopts a dark tone for the reader. In, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, people are manipulated through fear.
In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey illustrates in the book's final passage Chief Bromden’s escape into nature and freedom from his prior mechanical entrapment. Kesey outlines in the novel the difference between the hospital, an automatic and controlling institute. To the outside countryside that Bromden observes as representative of freedom, which he breaks free into. This imagery of machinery vs. nature is carefully crafted by Kesey within diction and imagery of scenes and characters. Where this is most prominent however, are the scenes Bromden experiences solely at night.
He states “it’s not just the asylum that’s governed by this machine—it’s the entire world(One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey).” Another way of symbolism would be “The Fog.” According to Chief, this fog clouds our vision of the real world. In this fog, the awful reality can be softened. Chief also tells us that McMurphy attempts to pull all the other patients out of this state of mind. Also, another strong symbol is the electro shock therapy table. Images of this table are related to crucifixion and it also represents the nurse's power.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Paper In Ken Kesey's novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest”, there’s evidence that not everyone is there at their own will. The story is told through Chief Bromden in first person. He accepts that this paranoia and hallucinations provide metaphorical insight into the hospital ward and the actions the authorities are trying to pursue on the patients. Throughout the story, you begin to wonder who should be labeled a “sane” and who should be labeled “insane”. Not every character in this novel is accurately identified as insane.
The institution has different sectors for groups and other rooms. Patients travel underground whenever they need to go to a different building. Most patients are sent here and are not voluntary. The institution in Independance have stopped performing lobotomies. Lobotomies destroy what makes people human.
In Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, using a pen as his weapon the author wages a war for individualism against our oppressive society. Ironically, the race and gender stereotypes he employs are oppressive themselves. The book is about the struggle between chaos and order. There’s no freedom without a little chaos, yet to maintain order, there must be oppression. McMurphy upsets the established routine of the ward, asking for schedule changes and inspiring resistance during therapy sessions.