The Main Themes in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Essay Example
One flew over the cuckoo’s shows literary merit in different ways in the theme and style Kesey uses. The novel explores the different sides of the spectrum between sanity and insanity and it explains the humiliation and diminishment the patients go through. As well as style. The author uses different styles in its writing. Different tones, characterization...
The writer uses the theme of sanity and insanity to convey the situation in which the patients in the mental health institution were. The patients in the ward are all insane except for the new patient which is yet unknown if he’s insane. Kesey makes the reader question McMurphy’s insanity. The novel’s style contributes to the literary merit of the novel. The novel is written in first person. This gives us only one perspective, from the protagonist, instead of multiple perspectives. The overall tone of the novel is rather negative. The author uses negative words to describe the setting of the novel. The characters dislike the place they are at . “all three of them, sulky and hating everything.” This implies that the environment the characters are at is negative.
Another theme the novel explores is humiliation and diminishment. “Seen’ em all over the country and in the homes 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. And the best way to do this, to get you to knuckle under, is to weaken you by gettin’ you where it hurts the worst.” This quote employs the Nurse’s behavior towards it’s patients. It’s harsh and hurtful towards the patients. Kesey uses comparison, to show the different ways in which Nurse Ratched is described by the patients. The writer uses positively connotated words to describe Nurse Ratched. As well as negative ones. “sweet, smiling, tender angel” That’s how Nurse Ratched is described by the patients. McMurphy on the other side, uses words such as “ball-cutter” to refer to the immense pain she is willing to put her patients through in order to get more power. “She fooled me with that kindly little old mother bit for maybe three minutes” Kesey describes the Nurse as having kindly.