True Insanity: the Ballad of Chief Bromden

1088 Words5 Pages
More often than not, insanity has been treated historically as a general condition that clouds the judgement of the sufferer at all times. And by no means is this incorrect, that I am not insinuating. Rather, perhaps we should pay more attention to the psychotic person’s awareness of their surroundings. It most certainly is difficult to imagine putting one’s self into the shoes of a mentally ill person. What type of experiences would we feel? What types of things would see? How would I interpret real life? Is this even real? Maybe we should not take every word that comes out of a crazy person’s mouth for its worth. But no doubt that through all of the enigmatic rumblings of their minds, something is brewing. And what they see is in direct relation to what they reflect. Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest circumambulates around the ins and outs of a mental institute. Throughout the ward’s various machinations, the narrator of the book Bromden is quite acute in his intelligence. He feigns deafness and dumb towards his peers and his attendants, but his astutely aware style of narrative polarizes his way of acting. it is also bluntly apparent that he suffers from some sort of psychosis that buries reality with a seemingly incoherent mess of hallucinations. Kesey’s use of imagery in the novel takes its most basic form of allegory, where he capitalizes on Bromden’s schizophrenic traits to promote the idea that routine and institution are tools of control. Bromden’s hallucinations are a series of metaphors that include fog and machinery, which reveal notions of mind-numbing control and loss of humanity. From the immediate on-set of the novel, Bromden quickly goes through a hallucination that immediately sets the tone for his perception of the antagonist, Nurse Ratched. Bromden’s description of Nurse Ratched as “swelling up [...] till her back's
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