One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

1245 WordsJul 17, 20185 Pages
An exceptionally tall, Native American, Chief Bromden, trapped in the Oregon psychiatric ward, suffers from the psychological condition of paranoid schizophrenia. This fictional character in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest struggles with extreme mental illness, but he also falls victim to the choking grasp of society, which worsens Bromden’s condition. Paranoid schizophrenia is a rare mental illness that leads to heavy delusions and hallucinations among other, less serious, symptoms. Through the love and compassion that Bromden’s inmate, Randle Patrick McMurphy, gives Chief Bromden, he is able to briefly overcome paranoid schizophrenia and escape the dehumanizing psychiatric ward that he is held prisoner in. The background of…show more content…
As a part of the Army, Chief fought in World War II. It is very possible that Post-traumatic Stress Disorder could have been a contributing factor to his schizophrenia. However, it is unclear what exactly caused the onset of Bromden’s mental illness. There is no doubt that a combination of dominating forces including the government, his mother, and the Army caused Chief’s schizophrenia. “I’m the one been here the longest, since the Second World War... Longer’n any of the other patients” (18). Chief began to experience schizophrenia and was admitted to the Oregon psychiatric ward right after the war so it appears that the war was a contributing factor in his breakdown. The symptoms that Chief Bromden experiences are clearly representative of paranoid schizophrenia. The two most significant symptoms that Chief experiences are hallucinations and delusions. Bromden is absolutely convinced that the hospital, and the rest of the combine, is run by machinery. This is because he studied electronics in college, “I walk over to the technical section..books I recognize..I remember inside the books are full of schematic drawings and equations and theories” (182). The knowledge that Bromden’s brain has about electronics allows him to create outlandish delusions and hallucinations. “I see her sit in this web of wires like a watchful robot, tend her network with mechanical insect skill, know every
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