One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Essay

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Mason Kochanski 20th Century Literature Nepper-7th 11/24/08 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest #2 The combine, the machine, the man; these are but a few of the many names disgruntled populaces have applied to their perceived oppressors. Warring against the powers that be is portrayed as ultimately hopeless yet undeniably necessary. McMurphy is one such champion of the people, forcibly rousing those around him to leave their apathy behind. The main target of his endeavors is Chief Bromden whom McMurphy pulls out of the fog time and time again. In the beginning, McMurphy is forced to drag the chief out against his will, “that’s what McMurphy can’t understand, us wanting to be safe. He keeps trying to drag us out of the fog, out in the open where we’d be easy to get at” P.114. The fear of standing out and becoming noticed by the Big Nurse is a great part of Bromden’s reluctance to come out willingly. The fog is, on an individual level, a self-induced state of mental dimness and confusion stemming from the delusion and suffering caused by the Big Nurse’s treatment. The fog prevents Chief Bromden from seeing his true situation and true self for a long time, causing him to believe he is weak and become weak due to his belief. Eventually, McMurphy hopes to cause the Chief to realize he can control his actions and become self-actualized. In this, McMurphy is successful. Following McMurphy’s example, Chief Bromden realizes that there are things to enjoy in life beyond that which the combine dictates. The fishing trip is a major turning point for both the Chief and the rest of the men on the ward. McMurphy handily defeats the gas station attendants by spinning a tale about the men, “Now Hank, don’t you see that was just a kindly precaution to keep from startlin’ you folks with the truth? The doc wouldn’t lie like that about just any patients, but we ain’t ordinary

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