One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest

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One flew East, One flew West, One died without a part of his brain.

In my opinion the main theme of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is conformity. The patients at this mental institution, or at least the one in the Big Nurse's ward, find themselves on a rough situation where not following standards costs them many privileges being taken away. The standards that the Combine sets are what makes the patients so afraid of a change and simply conform hopelessly to what they have since anything out of the ordinary would get them in trouble. Such conformity is what Mc Murphy can not stand and makes him bring life back to the ward by fighting Miss Ratched and creating a new environment for the patients. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest represents a rebellion against the conformity implied in today's society. Ken Kesey, the author, offers many examples of imagery through the Chief's detailed narrative of the story. Appealing to the sense of sight, Bromden, describing the reactions of some invalid patients, says: "the Chronics woke up to look around with heads blue from lack of blood" (214). A touch imagery is present when the Chief describes McMurphy's hands: "I remember the palm was smooth and hard as bone from hefting the wooden handles…"(23). After killing McMurphy, Bromden's narrative appeals to the sense of sound when he expresses he "heard the wires and connections tearing out of the floor" (310). Guessing that fall is coming and using the sense of smell, Bromden states: "I can smell that sour-molasses smell of silage" (155). Last, but definitely not least, is an example of an imagery appealing to the sense of taste that is present in the Chief's description of the drink they mixed: "The syrup had a taste like a kid's drink but a punch like the cactus apple wine we used to get in The Dalles, cold and soothing on the throat and hot and furious once it got down" (288). Kesey makes sure the reader gets a mental picture of the situations but he also makes use of many...
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