One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Mental Illness Analysis

3567 Words 15 Pages
Issues regarding Mental Institutions and Asylums People who are mentally ill are stigmatized as being dangerous, unpredictable and crazy. However, this is only a misconception. Once the mentally ill receive proper care and treatment for their illnesses, the road to recovery is not as difficult as it seems. Sylvia Plath, the award winning author of The Bell Jar, has been personally affected by mental illness, specifically suicidal depression. This illness has sadly caused Plath to take her own life on February 11th, 1963 when she committed suicide by turning on a gas stove before placing her head inside of it. Another renowned author, Ken Kesey, who has published his multiple award winning novel, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, also has had …show more content…
As previously mentioned the ECT treatments are seen as a punishment and pains the patients. This is how McMurphy feels before the dosage, “‘Anointest my head with conductant. Do I get a crown of thorns?’ They smear it on. He’s singing to them, makes their hands shake.” (Kesey 156) This quote creates an image of how McMurphy is feeling before his therapy. As the nurse applies the oil to his head; one sees how he is wearing the crown of thorns. It is also ironic that he is talking about the crown of thorns because typically crowns are supposed to be made of something luxurious. A crown of thorns defeats the purpose of a luxury because it is painful. In this quote McMurphy is about to receive electric shock therapy, he is comparing the pain he receives from electric shock therapy and wearing a crown of thorns. Kesey also alludes to martyr, which is when one is killed because of one’s religious beliefs. This specifically alludes to Jesus Christ because McMurphy sacrifices himself for his companions in the ward that he is in. He also refers to himself as a figure of Christ by asking if he gets the crown of thorns, he is referring to him saving his friends. He gives up his mind and life for those in the wards, so they can have hope. He has saved Bromden, George, Billy and the others, and like Christ, he accepts his sacrifice with willingness. In addition, Chief Bromden, who is pretending to be mute and deaf, illustrates how he feels about the fog machine, “They start the fog machine again and it’s snowing down cold and white all over me like skim milk, so thick I might even be able to hide in it if they didn't have a hold on me.” (Kesey 9) Kesey allows the reader to visualize the mindset of Chief Bromden while thinking about the fog machine. While Bromden drifts from reality because of the medication or simply out of fear, he starts to have

Related Documents