Chief Bromden'S Speech

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In the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Chief Bromden escapes from the mental hospital. In the following speech Bromden adresses his tribe. (imaginary) Brothers, There was a time brothers, a time when our people covered the lands as the harsh waves of a huge sea cover the rocky shore. It was long ago. For centuries untold, there were only our people living in a joyful harmony in these valleys. One day The Combine arrived. It wanted us to go live somewhere else, it wanted to take our lands, our waterfall… Tee Ah Millatona, my Papa, was our chief then. “The Pine That Stands Tallest on the Mountain”, he was so big. He fought it a long time… They beat him up. They whipped him. They cursed him and they cut off his hair, till they made him too little to fight any more. Oh, the Combine is Big. They got the papers that gave everything to the government, they got what they wanted. They took our dignities as well as our lands. They had no right; this is not justice brothers and this is not our fate. Brothers, The earth, the air, the great sea… Did not the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children? How can anybody sell or take anything that doesn’t even belong to anybody. We have the right to stay in our lands. Every single hill is blessed with our happy or sad memories. This is our nature, our soul. It doesn’t belong to us but we belong to it. When I was in far lands, imprisoned by my fears and by the paleface, I heard the waterfall. I was so far but so close. I heard it and it sounded like in the spring. I saw a salmon jump. I smelled the snow where the wind is blowin’ off the peaks. Now I feel the friendly fresh air again in my lungs. I did not escape the paleface, that’s not the case. I only escaped the fear inside and I realized that I was not little to fight. Brothers, now I see our tribe out there above the falls… lissen the way

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