One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest And Fahrenheit 451. Protagonists Serve As Catalysts In Setting Characters Free By Pulling Them Out Of Hiding And Leading Them To Their Own Recognition

1608 words - 6 pages

In the novels One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Fahrenheit 451 by Ken Kesey and Ray Bradbury, two of the main characters Chief Bromden and Guy Montag are hiding from the unknown. These men are lost in what they believe to be reality. A reality that is the only reality they have ever known. They are lost in a society controlled by the masses unaware of what the world really has to offer. These men are strong or were strong at one time in their lives. With a little guidance form others these men are able to see the world for what it really is. In these two novels the protagonists Randle McMurphy and Clarisse McClellan serve as catalysts in setting characters free by pulling them out of hiding and leading them to their own recognition of what the world really is or what it should be.Chief Broom is hiding deep in his past memories, deep in the "fog." He believes that Nurse Ratched (the Big Nurse) can set the clock to any speed. Sometimes everything is painfully fast and sometimes painfully slow. His only escape is being in the "fog" where time does not exist (Kesey 75). Bromden's hallucination that he is surrounded by fog extends to the other patients; he thinks that they are lost in fog as well. This is clearly a delusion, but metaphorically it is true. The status quo enforced by Nurse Ratched functions to dull the patients' senses. Her tight routine makes everything seem to move either too slow or too fast. The too-loud music makes conversation difficult and frustrating within the ward.The fog is Chiefs escape when he is scared. He checks out of reality, and when he is in it, he thinks he is invisible, like a little child who covers his eyes and thinks others cannot see him. It is his haven; often it is his safe & happy place. Notice thatwhen he is in it, he has childhood memories of his happy times, out hunting with hisdad. However, he also has memories of the war and the fog, the machinery, the sounds, remind him of when he was under attack. The enemy could not see him if he was hiding in the fog. Similarly, he feels that Nurse Ratchet (portrayed as the enemy) can not harm him while he is hiding in the fog.At the onset of the novel, Guy Montag appears to be satisfied with his life and society though he is hiding in his mechanical job, burning books. He lives life the way the society wants him to, never questioning his work or the world. Montag enjoys his job burning books and takes great pride in it; at the beginning of the novel, it largely defines his character. The opening passage describes the pleasure he experiences burning books. He loves the spectacle of burning and seeing things "changed" by the fire, and his fire-induced grin seldom leaves his face (Bradbury). He even loves the smell of kerosene, which never quite washes off his body.Although most of the people in Montag's world are completely uninterested in nature, their culture abounds in animal references, such as the mechanical objects called Snake and Hound. The only natural...

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