One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Societies Duplicity Through the Eyes Of Ken Kesey 11th Grade

In a perfect world each man, woman, and child are slightly unique but more or less exactly the same as one another. However, we do not live in a perfect world, we live in a world with many imperfections. Imperfections are looked down upon and significant measures are taken to “fix” them. In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, written by Ken Kesey, people with these “imperfections” are sent to a medical ward and are absent from society because they are different. For the ward to suppress the differences within the patients, deceit and misdirection is used as an influential element. However, Kesey is not subtle in the way he presents the ward’s motives and hides the influential effects in the fog and machinery motifs. The fog motif serves to force patients into adapting to society, whereas the machinery motif aims to transform and “fix” the patients so they fit in and do not stand out.

Fog is the phenomenon that gives one a mental sanctuary where one may reel away from the world. In the novel, fog was used as a retreat from the cruelty of the ward by the patients. For example, on more than one occasion Chief Bromden slips away from reality because of his fear of acting out against the wards policies or because of the pain...

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