'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' - Higher question - Narration

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‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ Essay 2:                               

Choose a novel in which the narrative point of view is a significant feature in your appreciation of the text. Show how the writer’s use of this feature enhances your understanding of the central concern(s) of the text.

A full and correct understanding of a novel is created through an accurate and trustworthy narrator. However, confounding requirements is the narrator of Ken Kesey’s ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, Big Chief Bromden. Bromden is one of the patients at a mental hospital who, in battling against Nurse Ratched for power of the ward, suffers from series of hallucinations which assist the reader in understanding both the struggle and hardships of the patients in taking some power in the ward, and how McMurphy helps Bromden escape from his hallucinogenic world and into reality.

The reader’s interpretation of Nurse Ratched and the power she possesses in the eyes of Bromden is made clear to the reader in the opening stages of the novel. She is furious at the behaviour of her assistants - dubbed ‘the black boys’ by Bromden – and in disciplining them, Bromden describes her as:

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        “Blowing up bigger and bigger, big as a tractor”

The hallucination of seeing Nurse Ratched growing in Bromden’s mind is a key aspect of understanding how he interprets things. Not only can he see Nurse Racthed growing physically, but her increasing size represents her increasing rage and power. The bigger she gets the angrier and more powerful she becomes. Using Bromden’s exaggerated view of the nurse’s growth due to rage and power, Ken Kesey can highlight the huge force that Nurse Ratched represents to the patients. However in Chief’s mind not only does he view the nurse as a towering ...

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