Essay about One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest

1016 Words May 10th, 2015 5 Pages
The metaphor of machinery in Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, shows the mechanization of society which suppresses individuality and free will. Kesey’s clever use of machinery as a metaphor that controls the patients on the ward identifies the problems of American society in the 1950s and 60s. The patients on the ward are victims of a society which demands conformity. The metaphor of machinery points out the rigidity of the system in which everyone should be a “functioning, adjusted component” (Kesey 36) and where there is no room for individuality. Bromden explains that the ward is a factory “for fixing up mistakes made in the neighborhoods and the schools and in the churches” (Kesey 36). The ward is a place where people are sent who do not fit correctly into their given slot of society. Within the ward there are two groups of patients; the Acutes and the Chronics. The Acutes are the younger patients who are “sick enough to be fixed” (Kesey 14). However, the Chronics “are in for good” (Kesey 14) and cannot be fixed. Bromden states that the Combine places the Chronics in the ward to keep them from walking around the street and showing a “bad product” (Kesey 14). This detail shows how the Combine deals with individuals who do not fit the standard mold of society. If a person does not contribute to the efficiency of the Combine they are placed into the ward. This idea is part of Kesey’s criticism of America in which conformity is valued over individualism.…

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