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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Comparison Essay

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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Comparison Essay
Ken Kesey wrote the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, about a new inmate at a mental institution through the point of view of one of the inmates. J.D. Salinger wrote the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, as narrated by a teenage dropout. Neither of the novels have the same setting nor the same type of characters. However, both novels contain a theme of coming of age for the characters as expressed through situational irony, sexual themes, and the motif of laughter. The situational irony for Chief Bromden in the beginning portrays his initial way of going about in the mental hospital. Chief Bromden is the largest man in the building, and yet he has the least amount of power. McMurphy comments on the way that Nurse Ratched seems to cut off power from the patients. He relates her to the “people who try to make you weak so they can get you to toe the line, to follow their rules, to live like they want you to” (Kesey 57). This differs from how one would expect a large man to be. As Chief is well …show more content…
Holden comments on other people and relates laughter to a sense of friendliness. He forms a correlation between humanity and humor. As he mentions one man giving a speech, he says that “He started off with about fifty corny jokes, just to show us what a regular guy he was” (Salinger 16). This relates regular people to cracking jokes and laughing. Holden does not laugh often in the novel. He, in fact, makes fun of the people who do. He says, “Normal people laugh like hyenas” (Salinger 37). However, in the last chapter of the novel, Holden does mention the humor behind his care for the people that he would talk to (Salinger 214). He becomes more human by the end, and also enters a mental hospital as he reaches a stage of maturity where he can realize that his behavior and thoughts are abnormal. Salinger's use of laughter proves the transition for Holden from outcast to maturing

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