Perspective Writing (One Flew over the Cooku's Nest)

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Daniel Pukaluk
Period 9-10
4-14-11
Perspective Writing Shift
The perspective shift in the movie does alter the movie’s plot. The movie is set in McMurphy’s perspective, while in the novel, the narrator is Chief. When the reader is reading the book, they get a picture the thoughts that are running through Chief’s head. Since the audience of the movie doesn’t know what Chief is saying, they really believe that Chief is deaf and dumb, just like everyone in the ward’s been saying. One example from the movie that the reader can see that Chief is “dumb” and deaf is the basketball game. McMurphy is trying to teach Chief to play basketball and while McMurphy is speaking to him, the audience can assume that he really is deaf because Chief doesn’t move and just continues to look at him as if McMurphy was crazy. And during the game, Chief is walking up and down the court while everyone is running. This just helps the audience of the movie to prove that Chief is in-fact dumb because he is oblivious to everything that is happening around him. Any decently intelligent person that is in a basketball game would at least try to do whatever the other players are doing. But Chief decides to do his own thing and just walk and at times; skip up and down the court. While reading the book though, the reader notices that Chief is not deaf and dumb because he tells the reader everything that he hears. He knows exactly what’s going on around him but he just continues to act deaf and dumb because he has a slight social problem. He always wants to be in the background. The perspective shift that occurs in the movie makes it difficult for the audience to determine whether or not Chief is deaf and dumb or if he’s just acting.

The perspective shift also causes a shift in the opinions of characters between McMurphy and Chief. In the novel, the reader gets a bias opinion about the other ward members that are mentioned in the novel because of Chief Perspective. The reader only knows about...
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