Thorough Analysis of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey.. 4 Important Characters, Quotes, Conflict & Setting

Essay by MoSePh8High School, 12th gradeA+, September 2004

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Mo Zaky


Ms. Fisk

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey


Randle McMurphy does not object to being transferred from jail to a mental institution because he thinks a mental institution will be far more comfortable than jail. Little does he realize that the mental institution is a dreary place tyrannized by Nurse Ratched, who punishes insubordination with electroshocks and lobotomy. McMurphy tries to rally the patients against Ratched, and he is successful; however, he realizes that Ratched is the only one who could ever free him from the institution. He begins to listen to her, but when a patient drowns himself because he feels betrayed by McMurphy, McMurphy rebels against her once again. He is lobotomized, the patients are all transferred to a different ward, and the narrator, Chief Bromden, regains his sanity and escapes through a window.

Four Important Characters:

Chief Bromden- Chief Bromden is a half-White, half-Native-American who throughout his childhood was always made to feel inferior.

He was bullied and his opinion was never cared for. He eventually began to withdraw into himself, until he began to talk so rarely that he was believed by many to be deaf and dumb. He is in the institution for paranoia, hallucinations, and the fact that he believes himself to be small and weak, while he is 6'7 and muscular. He narrates the story.

McMurphy- McMurphy is the protagonist of the book. He tries to bring life to the mental institution, and is successful at first. He leads the other patients against the tyranny of Nurse Ratched. He rallies them against her, while trying to better their lives one by one. He takes them fishing, gives them parties, and even orders a prostitute for one of the patients. He sacrifices himself for the...