Chief Bromden

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Juwan Kinsey

Eng. 3


The Potrayal of Chief Bromden’s Shallowness and Upcomance

Bromden is a very conservative yet diverse character. In “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, Ken Kesey depicts Bromden as an inconfident, shallow man with great hidden potenial that only shines when he is pushed. Many reasons of his flaws and triumphs can be seen through out the book.

There are several sources of Bromden’s shortcomings that contribute to him being seen as shallow. One of which being his overly abrasive childhood. When his tribe and family lost land to richer people who needed it for monetary purposes, he had an emotional drop. “But when his dad, who was the chief of the very large and modern Indian tribe, lost power due to the land lose, Bromden was truly broughy into an unexpected state of depression at a very young age.” (Telgen 222) His dad’s sadness and disappointment seemed to stack on to his emotions causing him to collapse. It’s derived of those emotions he later suppressed that he hit a major road bump in his older life. “Since he never truly let out his pent up feelings, Bromden developed a need to be alienated as far as way as possible from any form of attention thus causing him to fake being deaf and dumb.” (Telgen 222) Also, this lead him to become obedient of the black boys on the ward he resides on. It made him feel intimidated to do what ever they commanded, regardless of how demeaning. The pressure of the Combine it’s self seemed to have a drastic effect on him also. The way the fog machine designed by the Big Nurse caused him to become “lost”. It pulled him from reality and into a dream-like state of mind he felt was unbareable. The black boys mentioned earlier also caused him grief. The way they bullied him and called him “Chief Broom-den” didn’t help with his mental recovery in any way, shape, or form.

Bromden also changed over the course of the story and not just from McMurphy’s tactics. He had many reasons to alter. Above all other reasons, he had the desire to change . Without this ongoing, yet admittingly diminished flame, he would of never regained his former glory. While this may seem insignificant to others, one’s will can definitely be a factor in his or her development as a person. His thurst for freedom was a vital key in his change, tying into his desire for changer. His motives were simple. For him to feel truly free, he wanted to further himself from the Combine as much as he could. There was only one way to accomplish this successfully. He had to escape the ward. Another component to him feeling of complete freedom was to be as “big” and “tall” as he once was before the ward, the war, and his tribe and dad’s downfall. Back when he was stronger both mentally and physically. This ties into another reason for his development. It was remembering these good times that he found the strength to alter himself. Like, for instance, the way he used to laugh and be happy with friends and family way back when. He remembered this segment of happiness when he participated in the party McMurphy had on the ward that one faithful night. He also wanted to be as athletic as he was before (somewhat synonmous to his desire to be big and tall). These sets on reasons overall helped him overcome his extensive period of depression and fear.

There are also reasons why Bromden was so shallow in the first place and wanted to change himself. One of them being the pressure he felt from society and the people around him. The manner at which people assumed he was deaf and dumb made him feel lesser. “Since he was already a quiet person in general, he figured if he just acted like what they wanted him to be or saw him as, maybe they’d leave him alone more.” (Telgen 222) Though this was somewhat true, it still caused him great grief forcing him further into a “pool” of depression and insecurity. This never caused him to fully collapse, suprisingly, to the point that the Combine...
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