In the story of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, the narration is done by one of the patients, Chief "Broom" Bromden. His nickname is Broom because he also serves as the janitor for the ward. He is portrayed as a gentle giant of a man, and he has pretended to be deaf-mute and dumb... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
In the story of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, the narration is done by one of the patients, Chief "Broom" Bromden. His nickname is Broom because he also serves as the janitor for the ward. He is portrayed as a gentle giant of a man, and he has pretended to be deaf-mute and dumb ever since he was moved to the ward. Most of the events of the novel take place in the East Oregon Correctional Institution, based on the real life Pendleton, Oregon, asylum. Bromden also serves as the main character in the plot of the story. All the other characters are introduced by Bromden's remembrances and thoughts. They include Dale Harding, the philosopher and main thinker of the group of patients, Billy Bibbit, a nervous and shy young man with a distinct stutter, George, a germophobe who spends all day washing his hands and helps spur the climax of the story, Nurse Ratched, or The Big Nurse as Bromden calls her, who serves as the head nurse of the ward and maintains order and rules on the ward, the rest of the staff on the ward, and all other minor characters in the plot.
Soon, a new character, Randall Patrick McMurphy, is sent to the institution because he was caught in a fight on a work farm, and pleaded insanity so he could wait out his sentence in the comfort of a hospital. Randall is the happy-go-lucky type of guy that always tries to cheer people up, no matter what the situation is. He is always joking around with the staff and playing pranks on them and conspiring with the other patients. Soon after he arrives at the ward, he begins to fight the authority of the staff and asks for policy changes on the ward, most of which are considered and accepted. One of his requests is a fishing trip for the patients. After the patients get to the boat on the dock, the captain that was going to take them says that the weather is too stormy to go out, so Randall incites to patients to steal the boat. The doctor that went with them did nothing to stop them. This incident is what spurs the happening of the climax in the plot.
“… you think this is too horrible to be the truth to have really happened, this is too awful to be the truth! But, please. It’s still hard for me to have clear mind thinking on it. But it’s the truth, even if it didn’t happen.”Chief Bromden
“Just that. Get her goat. Bug her till she comes apart at those neat little seams, and shows, just one time, that she ain't so unbeatable as you think. One week. I'll let you be the judge whether I win or not.”Randall Patrick McMurphy
“The nurse on the ward tells me she's curing the arm in secret. Yeah, man, she says if I go easy on that arm, don't exert it or nothing, she'll take the cast off and I can get back with the ball club.”The Lifeguard
“This world…belongs to the strong, my friend! The ritual of our existence is based on the strong getting stronger by devouring the weak.Highlighted by 200 Kindle customers
What the Chronics are—or most of us—are machines with flaws inside that can’t be repaired, flaws born in, or flaws beat in over so many years of the guy running head-on into solid things that by the time the hospital found him he was bleeding rust in some vacant lot.Highlighted by 151 Kindle customers
it’s like an old clock that won’t tell time but won’t stop neither, with the hands bent out of shape and the face bare of numbers and the alarm bell rusted silent, an old, worthless clock that just keeps ticking and cuckooing without meaning nothing.Highlighted by 150 Kindle customers
Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. He knows there’s a painful side; he knows my thumb smarts and his girlfriend has a bruised breast and the doctor is losing his glasses, but he won’t let the pain blot out the humor no more’n he’ll let the humor blot out the pain.Highlighted by 148 Kindle customers
Tingle, ting-le, tang-le toes, she’s a good fisherman, catches hens, puts ’em inna pens…wire blier, limber lock, three geese inna flock…one flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest…O-U-T spells out…goose swoops down and plucks you out.Highlighted by 141 Kindle customers
But I remembered one thing: 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.Highlighted by 137 Kindle customers
“Never before did I realize that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become. Hitler an example. Fair makes the old brain reel, doesn’t it? Food for thought there.”Highlighted by 123 Kindle customers
Papa says if you don’t watch it people will force you one way or the other, into doing what they think you should do, or into just being mule-stubborn and doing the opposite out of spite.Highlighted by 122 Kindle customers
McMurphy doesn’t know it, but he’s onto what I realized a long time back, that it’s not just the Big Nurse by herself, but it’s the whole Combine, the nationwide Combine that’s the really big force, and the nurse is just a high-ranking official for them.Highlighted by 111 Kindle customers
It’s gonna burn me just that way, finally telling about all this, about the hospital, and her, and the guys—and about McMurphy. I been silent so long now it’s gonna roar out of me like floodwaters and you think the guy telling this is ranting and raving my God; you think this is too horrible to have really happened, this is too awful to be the truth! But, please. It’s still hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.Highlighted by 108 Kindle customers
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