Insanity In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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The novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest tells the story of a mental institution and the people and events inside of it. More specifically, it tells the story of a man and his journey to sanity, as well as of the people who help him progress. It is only when a new patient, McMurphy, arrives in the ward that the main character, Chief Bromden, truly begins to progress toward sanity. In the novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, Chief Bromden goes through several stages while journeying toward sanity and finally, through his experiences and relationships with other patients, specifically McMurphy, he essentially achieves sanity.
In the beginning, Chief Bromden is constantly surrounded by fog. He has not spoken in years, and all of
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His example is especially important in regards to Chief, as his relationship with McMurphy throughout the course of the novel is the main reason that he achieves the sanity that he does. After the World Series incident in which McMurphy narrates for all the men due to the fact they are ultimately not allowed to watch it despite the fact that Chief casts the deciding vote, the fog surrounding Chief clears. As part two of the novel begins, Chief is explaining his fear of what may happen if the staff knew that he could indeed hear. As he begins his daily cleaning duties, he notices the clarity of everything around him. He describes, “Out in the hall all by myself, I notice how clear it is--no fog any place. It’s a little cold where the nurse just went past, and the white tubes in the ceiling circulate frozen light like rods of glowing ice, like frosted refrigerator coils rigged up to glow white” (Kesey 130). Perhaps the most significant reason for the fog clearing is the influence that McMurphy has on Chief, as he causes Chief to want to stop hiding in the fog for safety. The fog clearing is a huge step in Chief’s journey toward sanity, as the fog is what holds him back from reality. At this point in the novel, he still perceives himself as small, but even this slowly begins to improve with the help of

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