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One Who Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Analysis

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Weather in literature is often used to symbolize the mood or mental state in which a character experiences. For example, rain is commonly associated with sadness. As it is commonly identified, fog is a cloudy element of weather that affects one’s ability to see clearly, however, it is also used in literature to represent a character’s lack of clarity. Throughout One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, the motif of fog is used to represent the mental instability and confusion Bromden experiences under Nurse Ratched’s ward. As the story progresses and Bromden gains confidence, the fog diminishes and he is able to overcome the Big Nurse. First off, Bromden’s frequent encounters with fog towards the beginning of the novel correspond…show more content…
During one of his more lucid states while awake in the middle of the night, Bromden recounts, “I know how they work it, the fog machine. We had a whole platoon used to operate fog machines overseas. Whenever intelligence figured there might be a bombing attack, or if the generals had something secret they wanted to pull...they fogged the field” (Kesey 130). Then after a detailed explanation of his past life in the battlefield, Bromden is thinking about the fog machine and states, “Then I discovered something: I don’t have to end up at that door if I stay still when the fog comes over me and just keep quiet. The trouble was I’d been finding that door my own self because I got scared of being lost so long and went to hollering so they could track me” (Kesey 132). As readers have seen in the past, the fog is known to hinder Bromden’s ability to remember events from the past. On page 130, it is evident that when Bromden finally gains an understanding of the fog machine’s purpose, he is able to remember a huge part of his early life that he had forgotten about while undergoing treatment by Nurse Ratched. A few pages later, the analogous shift in Bromden’s confidence is seen with the lack of fog, as he finally realizes that he is capable of resisting the…show more content…
Additionally, his ability to have full awareness triggers the newfound sense of confidence in himself that he uses to finally escape from the ward. One night when Bromden is lying awake in the ward, he describes, “I was seeing lots of things different. I figured the fog machine had broke down in the walls when they turned it up too high for that meeting on Friday...For the first time in years I was seeing people with none of that black outline they used to have, and one night I was even able to see out the window” (Kesey 162). Bromden then goes on to describe the scene occuring outside the window, where a dog is running in the grass outside the ward. The dog cannot figure out how to escape the fenced in lawn, and is trying to run away from a flock of geese by running in the direction of a busy highway (Kesey 165). Much later in the book, however, the incident with the dog is brought up again during Bromden’s escape. Bromden describes, “I ran across the grounds in the direction I remembered seeing the dog go, towards the highway” (Kesey 324). During Bromden’s escape on the last few pages of the book, when looking back on his hallucination with the dog he is not only proving that the fog is irrelevant since he compares this night to the night the fog machine was “broken,” but also that he has fully recovered from the effects of
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