In order to demonstrate the detrimental impact of societal institutions such as the mental hospital and the federal government on their subordinates, Ken Kesey captures the patients’ endeavor to become whole again as they temporarily escape the Combine’s clutches within his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. At the beginning of Part 3, it appears Nurse Ratchet’s regime is nearly toppled and that the machinery has lost its control. In fact, McMurphy even draws “[laughs] out of some Acute who’d been scared to grin since he was twelve” and forms a basketball team for the inmates (175). Moreover, Chief Bromden speaks for the first time in years and achieves an erection after his pivotal conversation. Clearly, Kesey indicates the decline of the matriarchy and as a result, portrays the patients as regaining their masculinity.
Imagine a life where people ignore us and treat us as if we were not even there, simply because they believe we do not have the same mental age as our peers and cannot hear. All on a day to day basis. When entering One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, one can tell that Chief Bromden, our Indian narrator, is fully aware of his surroundings and does not live up to the statement above; even though the nurses and aids in the ward think otherwise. In this novel, we see how Chief Bromden comes to understand that he is not the one who started to present himself as deaf and dumb, but it was the people around him that thought he was too dumb to hear what they were saying. Through Kesey’s writing, we come to see how McMurphy, a rough-n-tough fighting man, helps Chief regain his ability of speech and build his emotional and “physical” strength back to its fullest potential.
A Psychedelic Perception of the World In the late 1960s, the United States was characterized by the voluminous amounts of counterculture hippies, the Vietnam War, Woodstock music fair, and political pacifism (Haugen 89). Contributing to an age of “hippiedom”, a new wave of young, energetic Americans emerged and avidly protested the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (89). Encouraging unity among nations, these “hippies” repudiated the actions that placed America in the war and the measures they took in attempt to “better” society (95). During this time, radicals were characterized by excessive use of marijuana and psychedelics, and extremist actions they took to protest against the militaristic inclination of mainstream America (98).
Conformity is defined in the dictionary as “compliance with standards, rules, or laws.” Is Conformity bad? In some cases it could help calm situations and prevent negative events. In other instances too much Conformity can lead to the lack of individuality. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest raises the question, where is the balance between too much control and too little?
Freedom From Reality In a smaller world where freedom and the ability to think for one’s self is limited, Randle Patrick McMurphy, a man who despises authority, a man who wants to be set free, a man who rebels, overrules and goes against the Big Nurse’s manipulative dictatorship. Although, accused of being mentally ill, McMurphy uses this to his advantage to have an easier time inside the hospital rather than being locked up in prison. Yet, freedom is still not granted. Ken Kesey uses setting, conflict, and point of view in order to create a sub society of freedom in a mental hospital.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest What would one expect if one's idea of society and normality was manipulated and engineered by someone else? This is the case in Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The novel is articulated by Chief Bromden, a schizophrenic patient, and is set in an insane asylum with a strict tyrannical administrator, Nurse Ratched. The significance of “Big Nurse Ratched” is how she is considered to be the representative of society as she tries to mold everyone directly into her picture- perfect vision.
Ken Kesey is an author from the 1960’s, who is best known for his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Kesey’s novel was written as a result of his many trials with experimental drugs. While he was under the influence of drugs, like LSD, he would brainstorm ideas for his novel. After sobering, he would re-visit the ideas and get rid of what he thought to be ‘trash’ (Lehmann-Haupt). Kesey got a job working on the psychiatric ward of a hospital to earn extra money.
Foucault expresses that the control over the people in the Panopticon is not forceful, but rather psychological; however, Nurse Ratched shows both forceful and psychological control during the novel. Foucault states that people in a Panopticon are all controlled by authority, but in a psychological manner. He believes “it is not necessary to use force” (323) since those in a Panopticon control themselves. The idea of being isolated in a cell with unknown people watching over the prisoners can cause a sense of concern, which results in good behavior. While this control is psychological, Nurse Ratched’s power to bring patients to the Disturbed Ward, a surgical ward, or Shock Shop, electroshock therapy, when she pleases reveals the force she uses in the ward over the
The novel One Flew Over The cuckoo’s nest by Ken Kesey follows the experiences of Randle Patrick McMurphy who has pretended to be insane in order to a psychiatric hospital and escape from serving time in a prison work farm. The novel frequently refers to authorities that control individuals through restrained methods. The authority of the ward is most often personified in the character of “Nurse Ratched” or “Big Nurse”. The patients of the ward are afraid of Nurse Ratched that they fallow her orders without question. They “ long ago gave up the struggle to assert themselves.
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.