The Cuckoo's Nest

The Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Essay Topics

How is Bromden an effective narrator? Some things to consider could be his hypersensitivity and his use of personification.

In the novel, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the author Ken Kesey picks chief Bromden, a deaf and schizophrenic patient to narrate the book. The whole story which is based on the mental institution is said through his perspective. Kesey’s idea of putting Chief Bromden as narrator has its ups and downs.

Quiet by nature, Bromden is a very detailed and descriptive person with a very observant eye. He is given the job of brooming, so basically he picks up on stories all around the ward. Another aspect that allows Bromden to be a good narrator is his ‘dumb & deafness’. Nobody really paid attention to Chief Bromden since he never really conversed in the ward, so everybody wrote him off as deaf. Nobody realized that Chief Bromden had full hearing capacity like other members of the ward, so they were never really big on confidentiality around him. This major advantage enables Chief Bromden to eavesdrop on secretive details as he does his job. This makes him very knowledgeable, so it helps when he narrates the story, to foreshadow future events from the information he has picked up. For example when he overheard all the doctors during their staff meeting to discuss what do with the McMurphy’s intolerable behavior. Over here he hears Nurse Ratched’s interesting option to how to handle the situation.

"He is simply a man and no more, and is subject to all fears and all the cowardice and all the timidity that any other man is subject to. Given a few more days, I have a strong feeling that he will prove this, to us as well as the rest of the patients. If we keep him on the ward I am certain his brashness will subside, his self-made rebellion will dwindle to nothing, and our redheaded hero will cut himself down to something patients will all recognize and lose respect for (136)"...

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