One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest Essay

Topics: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Fog machine, Lauren Reed Pages: 3 (930 words) Published: September 16, 2013
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest written by the highly regarded Ken Kesey, explores the socio-cultural context of 1960s America. Kesey incorporates a variety of linguistic techniques, main characters and climactic scenes to portray the constant shift in power and conflict amongst the ward patients and ‘The Big Nurse’. These constant alterations in power are Kesey’s way of expressing the detrimental effects that conflict may have upon the stability of the ward, and the well-being of the patients. The shifts are also used to portray how specific characters constantly manipulate the system by creating confrontation in order to see their desired ‘change’. Kesey uses symbolism throughout the text to highlight the trapped and oppressed minds of those isolated from society. It is evident that Kesey used to novel to advocate his resistance towards the mistreatment of those men who viewed the world in a different context, and who were afraid to conform to the regular standards of society. The troubled state of the institution is conveyed in a thought provoking manner, with the incorporation of symbolism and metaphors such as the fog machine, and the electroshock therapy table. The ‘fog machine’ is a hallucinogenic state experienced by Chief, symbolizing his slipping away from reality and into oblivion. Chief often describes the appearance of the fog shortly after medication time, or when he is in a state of fear and anxiety. He describes the fog, as a product of fog machines located in the vents, which he likens to the artificial fog that was used by the military to cover airfields. On occasions chief doesn’t just venture into the fog, he loses all reality with this world, and ventures into a figment of his imagination. In one scene, Chief steps into an image on the ward wall. “I look back out through the frame at that visiting doctor talking with the residents”. Moments such as these represent Chief at conflict with himself, he longs for change and the courage to...
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