One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest
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One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
Essay #1
In the book One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, the narrator and one of many protagonists, Chief Bromden, describes the mental asylum he is at as a machine. He refers to this machine as a combine; also referring to fog and time control, which are deployed by the staff of the hospital. All of these terms that Chief Bromden uses are psychological hallucinations, which do not exist in real life, and are products of his schizophrenic condition. As the narrator of the story, Chief Bromden utilizes many metaphors to describe the events within the book. These include references to machines, fog, the combine in attempts to show how society is like one big machine; who in this instance is controlled by Nurse Ratched.

Chief Bromden describes society as a machine, which he calls the Combine. The combine is a crushing, oppressing, and overpowering authority, which crushes all individuality and happiness. In the hospital, this machine, or Combine, is run and controlled by Nurse Ratched who Chief Bromden says ” She blows up bigger and bigger, big as a tractor, so big I can smell the machinery inside the way you smell a motor pulling too big a load” (page 5). The combine tries in a way to industrialize everything in society, even humans. This is exemplified by Nurse Ratcheds strict schedule and “precise, automatic” (page 5) actions, which she uses to try and get patients to conform to the way of the Combine. When the combine has finished its work on someone, as it was in the dream Chief had about Blastic; nothing is left besides “a shower of rust and ashes, and now and again a piece of wire and glass” (p. 85). This controlled mechanism requires complete human obedience, with lack of individuality.

Fog that Chief Bromden describes comes from the combine itself and is “made” by Nurse Ratched. The fog is often alluded to being medically induced. It often arises when the staff and Nurse Ratched are trying to oppress the patients. Whenever the fog sets in, Chief is drifting from what is going on in reality. Most noticeable when being medicated and given electroshock therapy, the fog is less omnipresent once McMurphy arrives at the ward. To Chief Bromden, the Nurse uses the fog to keep the patients from rising up in rebellion, which is understandable, considering it is less present around McMurphy who often stirs up the patients in attempts to break free from this impressment “They havent really fogged the place full force all day today, not since McMurphy came in. I bet hed yell like a bull if they fogged it”. The fog could be symbolism for the idea of ignorance being bliss, “You see, thats a recording playing up there, my friend. We seldom hear the radio. The world news might not be therapeutic.” (page 36). By being kept away from reality

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Chief Bromden And Chief Bromden Uses. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from