One Flew Over The Cuckoo\'s Nest

What is reality? The novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo\'s Nest, written by Ken Kesey,
explores living in a mental institution through the mind of a patient. As the
reader begins the novel, they would naturally think that a patient found in a
mental hospital would be insane. As Kesey introduces you to the patients, and
you see the institution in their eyes, you believe that they are really normal
people, and society is insane. The main character, Chief Bromden is a half

Indian man, who is considered schizophrenic. Randall McMurray, the newest
patient in the ward, causes many difficult situations for the Nurse. Nurse

Ratched is the authority figure for the patients and likes everything to be run
her way. A man who is known as Chief Bromden, the main character, starts as
seeming to be a shy, weak man. This is shown in the first chapter on page three,
when a caretaker of the institution talks of him while he is present, "Big
enough to eat apples off my head an\' he mine me like a baby." Chief Bromden
is in the hospital because he is schizophrenic, and is considered deaf and dumb,
because he never talks or acknowledges people. At the end of the novel, McMurray
becomes a vegetable because of all of the shock treatments he had received.

Bromden displays that he is caring by smothering him with a pillow, because he
knows that McMurray would not want to live like that. One of the reasons that
people find him shy is that he would much rather be quiet, and observe his
surroundings. Page 26-27 (Bromden thinking of Nurse Ratched) "I\'ve watched
her get more skillful over the years. Practice has steadied and strengthened.
her until she wields a sure power that extends in all directions on hair-like
wires, too small for anybody\'s eye but mine; I see her sit in the center of this
web of wires like a watchful robot, tend her network with mechanical skill, know
every second which wire runs where and just what current to send up to get the
results she wants" Chief Bromden is the smartest, most caring and gentle
man in this novel. He is the kind of guy that many people would like to know,
and associate themselves with. The Chief stands out from the rest of the men of
the ward. Physically, he stands out by being half Indian, with long, black oily
hair. Also, he is a very large man, standing 6\'7" and having a very
muscular build, from playing football when he was a teenager. He stands out
mentally by being a "chronic." "Across the room are the culls of
the Combine\'s product - the chromic. Not in the hospital, these, to get fixed,
but just to keep them from walking around the streets giving the product a bad
name. Chronics are in for good, the staff concedes. Chronics are divided into

Walkers, like me, and the Wheelers. What the chronic are, are machines with
flaws inside that can\'t be repaired." The Chief thinks of the outside world
to be a "Combine," which is used throughout the novel. The chief is
very different from the men living in the hospital alongside him. Randle Patrick

McMurray is the newest addition to the ward. He is compared with two people
throughout the novel. His physical traits are compared with that of Paul

Bunyan\'s. McMurray is red headed, has long red side burns and curly hair. He has
a broad chest and jaw and has a distinct red scar that runs along his nose and
cheekbone. Another prominent feature of his, is a tattoo on his left hand of an
anchor. McMurray\'s large, beat-up hands and tanned body are a result of many
years working on a farm, P. 12, "His face and neck and arms are the color
of ox blood leather." He is the most recent addition to the ward, and one
of the reasons he was placed there was because he is obsessed with sex and
committed statutory rape with a 15-year-old girl. The second person they compare

McMurray to is Christ. He goes through a kind of crucifixion when he begins a
series of electric shock treatments. When the attendant places salve on his
temples, McMurray says, P 270, "Anointest my head with conductant. Do I get
a crown of thorns?" Randall McMurray\'s role is obvious in the world,
described to be a cross between Paul Bunyan and Christ. McMurray\'s personality
is very rejuvenating to the ward. Before