Narration, Metaphors, Images and Symbols in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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Narration, Metaphors, Images and Symbols in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

In 1962, when One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (the Nest), was published, America was at the start of decade that would be characterized by turmoil. Involvement in Vietnam was increasing, civil rights marches were taking place in the south and a new era of sexual promiscuity and drug use was about to come into full swing. Young Americans formed a subgroup in American society that historians termed the “counterculture”. The Nest is a product of time when it was written. It is anti-authoritarian and tells the tale of a man's rebelling against the establishment. Kesey used metaphor to make a social commentary on the America of the sixties. In this paper I will
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It is with this paranoid rambling that the reader meets Bromden. As the first chapter progresses we witness more instances of his troubled mind and his way of describing people as part machine, part human. Nurse Ratched is the called "the Big Nurse," by Bromden. His description of her is an example of his ability to link people with machines. "She slides through the door with a gust of cold...(the) tip of each finger the same color as her lips. Funny orange. Like the tip of a soldering iron. Color so hot or so cold if she touches you with it you can't tell which." (Pg. 4 Kesey). She has the ability, in Bromden's mind, to increase her size. She, "blows up bigger and bigger, big as a tractor, so big you can smell the machinery inside the way you smell a motor pulling too big a load." (Pg 5 Kesey). These descriptions of humans who are made part machine, part human allow the reader to get a clearer understanding of Bromden's illness. This, I believe, is a positive aspect of the novel, however there would seem to be, at least one, negative aspect to Kesey's choice of narrators.

This choice of narrators for Kesey, in my opinion, may be considered troublesome. He seems to ask the reader to trust the voice of a madman. This seems to do anything but create a narrator who is trustworthy. Upon rereading the Nest, I found myself doubting the narrator because he seems to be inconsistent. In the first section of the
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