"One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" Literary Analysis

1815 words - 7 pages

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Literary AnalysisOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a grim story depicting the lives of workers and inmates in a mental ward. It is narrated by Chief Bromden, a seemingly deaf and mute Indian who actually, on the outside seems like a strong, fierce man, but is weakened by past experiences in life and in the ward. A nurse in the hospital, Nurse Ratched, uses punishment and torture to show her power over the inmates, with electro-shock therapy and lobotomy at her disposal. In the beginning of the story, Randle Patrick McMurphy brings light into the institution by opposing the all-powerful nurse and dignifying the inmates by doing battle with the powers that keep them imprisoned. McMurphy helps each inmate grow in some way, and helps Chief Bromden realize that hiding from reality only hurts him more than the torture brought on by the mental ward. Being held in the ward doesn't help the men; it only cuts them down from society and life. Throughout the novel, symbolism is shed through each of the characters, situations, and surroundings, and with that, the interpretation of life through Bromden's eyes and McMurphy's actions shows that strength and resistance from society's rulers gives strength to those who need it most.Chief Bromden, the narrator of the story, talks about the nurse, ward, and McMurphy, but throughout the story, finds his own path to sanity. He is six foot eight inches tall, but feels he used to be big, but because he has been belittled for so long, he is weak and vulnerable. His father also was a strong and tall man, and married a white woman, who became the dominant force in the relationship. Bromden took his mother's last name as well, showing his father's inferiority. When Bromden was ten years old, three government officials came to his home on a reservation to see his father about buying the land to build a hydroelectric dam. He was home alone and when he tried to speak to the men, they acted as if he wasn't there, plowing the way for his negative feelings towards himself. His mother and other tribe members forced his father to sell the land for profit, also making his father seem little and unimportant. The reason for Bromden's hospitalization is unknown, but the cause could be his father's inferiority at home, or from his father's breakdown from fighting in WWII. These authority figures, the army, and the government officials, symbolize the oppression and emasculation in society, just as the nurse does in the mental ward. "I creep along the wall quiet as dust in my canvas shoes, but they got special sensitive equipment detects my fear, and they all look up, all three at once, eyes glittering out of the black faces like the hard glitter of radio tubes out of the back of an old radio." From the hallucinations and paranoia he suffers from, Bromden sees life and underlying machines controlling the people, dehumanizing them just as he had been dehumanized in his past life experiences.In the ward,...

Find Another Essay On "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" Literary Analysis

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

770 words - 3 pages Paper written for Psychology class Well written summary and application to ECTOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest In the movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest, there was a character named McMurphy, played by Jack Nickolson, who was admitted into a mental institution for medical testing after having been convicted of statutory rape. It was obvious that he was only faking and he thought that he could get off from having to serve his

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST

680 words - 3 pages In One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest the total institution was a mental institution. The patients had to live their whole day within the same atmosphere, eating, sleeping and playing in the same place. They played basketball in the court yard and cards in the community room. They all slept in a wide open room. They have group meetings, they would act like they can do what ever they wanted, but in reality head Nurse Ratched is really controlling

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

1551 words - 6 pages the ward are extremely detrimental to Chief’s mental state. Works Cited "Download Schizophrenia: Public Attitudes, Personal Needs." Schizophrenia Survey: Public Attitudes, Personal Needs: A Survey on Schizophrenia by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. National Alliance on Mental Illness, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. Goodfriend, Wind. "Mental Hospitals in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”." "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" Psychology Today

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

931 words - 4 pages In Ken Kesey's novel, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, the psychotic ward (prior to the arrival of the boisterous, auspicious character named Randall Patrick McMurphy,) was a place of order, and a place where the patients respected the rules dictated by the revered Miss Ratched, the Head, or "Big" Nurse. The patients did not analyze or question the policies created by Big Nurse; they did not dare defy them for fear of life-altering punishment

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

1002 words - 4 pages Caroline DuffyAP LanguageDr. Tanenbaum4 March 2013In Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, an analogy of Christ is maintained throughout the entire novel. Kesey compares red-headed boisterous McMurphy to a Christ-like savior. The novel points out that the human race needs a savior to lead them to do what is "right". Jesus led people to salvation and taught them what he thought was right. McMurphy was like Christ to the men in the asylum

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - 639 words

639 words - 3 pages As the narrator of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Chief Bromden, a paranoid half- American Indian man, has managed to go unnoticed for ten years by pretending to be deaf and dumb as a patient at an Oregon mental asylum. While he towers at six feet seven inches tall, he has fear and paranoia that stem from what he refers to as The Combine: an assemblage whose goal is to force society into a conformist mold that fits civilization to its benefit

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

1634 words - 7 pages One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest      Sometimes in life people are forced to conform to a certain situation for lack of a better alternative, and this is the case in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. These such people lack the will to stand up for their scruples, and intern are simply guided through their mundane lives by the powers that be. Until someone comes along offering them leadership and the prospect to become “big again.” The man who

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest review

3262 words - 13 pages fictitious, but it relates to the real issue if determining sanity and insanity. Insanity is defined as severe mental illness, as shown through Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest the nurse in charge of making the patients sane may be insane herself (Merriam-Webster, Insanity). The patients may show the most signs of being normal even with diagnosed disorders. In many situations in the novel the line is blurred as to who is insane

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

833 words - 3 pages It all starts one morning when Chief Bromden, also known as Chief Broom, a confused half Indian man who claims to be deaf and dumb so everybody ignores him. Bromden regularly suffers from hallucinations. The institution he is placed in is controlled and managed by Nurse Ratched, also known as the Big Nurse, a cold and strict woman who was a former Army nurse. She maintains order by having absolute control over everyone including the patients

Literary Essay "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey

1918 words - 8 pages Many protagonists are considered heroes, ranging from Hamlet to Hercules. All of these heroes also did something to earn the honoured title. In today's society modern heroes have been found, one of which is the traditional Western hero. We also have a hero in Jesus Christ, saviour to some, yet a hero no matter what religion those who look upon him follow. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Ken Kesey uses both of these heroes of today

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest Literary Analysis Paper One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Ken Kesey

1035 words - 4 pages One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest Literary Analysis PaperRandle McMurphy fits the profile of a tragic hero based on the analysis of certain literary elements. McMurphy's major flaw was hubris which leads to his downfall in life as well as the lives of others in the novel. After closely reading Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, it is apparent that McMurphy is a tragic hero.Kesey uses narration in the first person in One Flew Over the

Similar Essays

Analysis On One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

1079 words - 4 pages to the conflict in the East as well as the Civil Rights movement. To these people, the government was a criminal, even a machine perhaps, which threatened one’s individuality. This provides some historical context on the background of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Ken Kesey, the author, worked in a mental hospital, and he realized that society simply regarded the patients as being “too different” and thus cast them out. In One Flew Over the

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

703 words - 3 pages One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest takes place in a mental institution in the Pacific Northwest. The narrator of the novel is Chief Bromden, also known as Chief Broom, a catatonic half-Indian man whom everybody thinks is deaf and dumb. The institution is dominated by Nurse Ratched (Big Nurse), a cold, precise woman with calculated gestures and a calm, mechanical manner. She has absolute authority over the

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

758 words - 3 pages Who Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest...?In the 1975 film adoption to Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, the character Randall McMurphy brings the hospital to life with his ability to undermine the rules and regulations of his ward. After being sent to jail for alleged statutory rape, McMurphy fakes insanity to relieve himself of backbreaking prison labor. After the prison hears his plea, McMurphy is sent to an insane asylum

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

2909 words - 12 pages One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is a compelling novel that challenges the reader's perception of sanity and insanity. This novel examines the issue of sanity in a somewhat modern society. Kesey illustrates the workings of a mental hospital and the affect of these workings on the people in the hospital. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Kesey reverses control in the mental hospital by proving the patients can show