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Archive for April 18th, 2018

“But it’s the truth, even if didn’t happen.” –Chief Bromden

Posted by feww on April 18, 2018

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest —Ken Kesey

Introduction Summary

Living in “an Oregon psychiatric hospital”

“God; you think this is too horrible to have really happened, this is too awful to be the truth! But, please. It’s hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.”

[Chief Bromden is a Columbia Indian who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. He is] bullied, and surrounded much of the time by a hallucinated fog that represents both his medicated state and his desire to hide from reality. Moreover, he believes that he is extremely weak, even though he used to be immensely strong; because he believes it, he is extremely weak. By the end of the novel, the fog has cleared, and Bromden has recovered the personal strength to euthanize McMurphy, escape from the hospital…

Bromden is six feet seven inches tall (or six feet eight inches, the book is inconsistent), but because he has been belittled for so long, he thinks he “used to be big, but not no more.” He has been a patient in an Oregon psychiatric hospital for ten years. Everyone in the hospital believes that he is deaf and dumb. When McMurphy begins to pull him out of the fog, he realizes the source of his charade: “it wasn’t me that started acting deaf; it was people that first started acting like I was too dumb to hear or see or say anything at all.” As Bromden himself is demystified, so too is the truth behind what has oppressed him and hindered his recovery.

This oppression has been in place since Bromden’s childhood.

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