One Flew Over Cuckoos Nest

.. or there shock treatment McMurphy offered Bromden a piece of gum and he took it then started to laugh. Ronald Wallace said in Discovering Authors Modules said “The chief must regain his laugh before he can regain his speech, and his first words to McMurphy when he has stopped laughing are thank you. Having recovered his comic sense Bromden recovers his health” (9). At this point Bromden begins to show signs of sanity because he gives up the deaf and dumb role (Fish 17).

As soon as Bromden regains his comic sense and gives up his deaf and dumb role everything else seems to fall right in place. He begins to smell things a man should smell. Tanner says Bromden begins to smell different odors. “.. not until McMurphy came was there the man smell of dust and dirt from open fields, and sweat, and work(98).” Bromden is determined not to let Nurse Ratched destroy him with her “soul-destroying method” ( 1).

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Bromden recognizes a picture that he never saw on the wards wall of a fisherman on a mountain stream. He begins imagining the smells that the fisherman would smell (31). The things he is smelling now compared to hot oiled machines are more natural and relaxing. Tanner states that “This reawaked sensitivity to the world of nature, his home environment, is a positive sign that Bromden is developing a resistance to the machine world of the hospital.” (32) which means that Bromden is now beginning to resist Nurse Ratcheds control she has over him. Now that Bromden is creating a resistance to Nurse Ratched he is finding out there is more to life than just the institution, and McMurphy tries to show him this by taking some guys on the ward, plus Bromden, on a fishing trip.

On their way they stooped at a gas station and two attendants gave McMurphy a hard time about showing up with a bunch of loonies. The patients in the car got depressed because they know what is going on. McMurphy sees in the car that the guys are getting pretty much ashamed for themselves and wanting to say screw it all and go home. From Discovering Authors Modules Ronald Wallace explained that when McMurphy saw this he helps the inmates gain more pride by freighting the attendants. He tells the attendants what the inmates are in for, describing it with great detail hoping to frighten the attendants into thinking they are so nuts they could flip out and kill them any second.

“McMurphy gives him the example of standing up to and occasionally beating the apparently all-powerful Combine” (Macky 4712). Between the black boys and the other patience on the ward Bromden gets picked on right in front of his face just as the two attendants picked on them when they were in the car. McMurphy gave him one example of standing up to that kind of punishment. So no matter how much Bromden was dehumanized by all the punishment the Combine had given him, he did not let that ruin his whole life. Even though he was considered a chronic which meant there was no help for him mentally he is improving as a human being from McMurphys help. McMurphy is helping Bromden to improve by giving him a little pride for himself. The end of Bromden “therapy” (Porter 97) McMurphy has brought Bromden back to strength again.

The guys on the ward were getting checked and cleaned for crabs (Kesey 260). One of the patients on the ward named George was scared to get cleaned by one of the black aids. McMurphy told the aid just to forget about him and move on to the next guy. When the aid refuses McMurphy starts a fight with him. One of the black aids pin McMurphy down to the floor (261).

Right now Bromden sees himself in a different light then he did before. He begins seeing this when McMurphy is pinned on the floor by one of the black aids (McCreadie 505). Bromden joins in the fight to help McMurphy defeat the black boys. After more of the aids got the situation under control, McMurphy and Bromden were sent up stairs to receive shock therapy. After the shock therapy McMurphy through a party for the patients just so they would have some fun before he escapes the next morning.

When morning came McMurphy forgot to leave because he fell asleep and later on he finds out that one of the patients had killed themselves (Kesey 304). Nurse Ratched blames his death on the whole ward making everybody fell like it was their fault by them playing God (304). McMurphy gets so angry that he breaks down her door and ripped her shirt off so her big breast would be shown (305). Nurse Ratched then orders for McMurphy to have a lobotomy. The next time the patients see McMurphy is when he is brain dead. At this point Bromden is fully back to strength again.

It is symbolically represented when Bromden tries to put McMurphys hat on and it does not fit because he has grown to full size. Peter Fish said at the end of the book the chief has switched places with McMurphy (17). This means McMurphy is now becoming weak and he is beginning to lose against the Big Nurse while Bromden is making progress. McMurphy ultimately loses against Nurse Ratched when she gave him a lobotomy. When Bromden saw this he felt that since McMurphy helped him out by teaching him to become more of a human being, he would help him out and not let hum sit there in bed for the rest of his life and suffer. So Bromden smothered McMurphy with his own pillow.

Ronald Wallace said in Discovering Authors Modules that Bromden is “comic, and he is also a hero. “I kept getting this notion that I wanted to sign the list. And the more he talked about fishing for Chinook salmonthe more I wanted to go. I knew it was a fool thing to want; if I signed up itd be the same as coming right out and telling everybody I wasnt deaf. If Id been hearing all this talk about boats and fishing itd show Id been hearing everything else thatd been said in confidence around me for the past ten years.

And if the Big Nurse found out about that, that Id heard all the scheming and treachery that had gone on when she didnt think anybody was listening, shed hunt me down with an electric saw, fix me where she knew I was deaf and dumb. Bad as I wanted to go, it still made me smile a little to think about it: I had to keep on acting deaf if I wanted to hear at all” (Kesey 197). The quote from the novel above proves since Bromden has written the novel, it is Bromden himself who exposes his own comedy. The plot traces Bromdens growth toward the kind of comic perspective that enables him to write such a novel. When he can turn the combine into a comedy, he has defeated it.” In the novel during the fishing trip Bromden wanted to go, but he had no way of signing up because he did not want to give up his deaf and dumb role.

Bromden learns to look at his life as a “comic fiction” and then to “transform that fiction into art.” After Bromden had smothered McMurphy he lifted the control panel which McMurphy tried to lift previously in story. When he picks up the control panel he is overcoming the control that the ward had on him. He is taking all that control they had over him for so many years and he is throwing it out of the window. When Bromden escapes he does not see the dog that has always been around the window, but only the footsteps. Leeds explains that when Bromden escapes, he is associated with the geese that were flying overhead. The dog that was not there, but only the footsteps was associated with McMurphy. He says this means that when Bromden escapes he is really flying over the cuckoos nest following in McMurphys footsteps (29).

So by the end of the story it is evident that Bromden did overcome the control, gained his strength, and returned to his true size. From when McMurphy arrives at the Combine, to when Bromden makes his escape he is changing all the time. He is changing for the better. He started out as a machine that just respond to stimuli in the ward, then he slowly progressed until he had enough strength to make his escape. Bromden defines the combine as a modal of the world.

Miss Ratched wants to robotize the men in the ward so when they leave they are an example to society (Leeds 20). So no matter how bad Bromden got dehumanized he succeeded to come back strong. “In the modern world, machines destroy nature, efficiency comes before beauty and robot-like cooperation is more valued then the individual freedom” (15). This is the same thing Nurse Ratched is trying to do to the Combine. She wants everything to run how it is suppose to first, then if there is free time that comes last. People today are the same way.

They want everything to run perfect with no error. That is why people now build robots to do the work for us because they realized that people arent perfect. Now since the robots are now getting all the jobs allot of people are out of work which means they are now low on money. Without money you cant do anything in this world because nothing is for free.