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GCSE: Ken Kesey
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As the novel opens, this society is an ordered holding pen for men who have various degrees of mental illness. When the outsider McMurphy arrives, he brings the monotonous, repetitive qualities of this setting into focus. The portrayals of the inmates of the institution, for the most part, are real and believable. Some are modelled on patients Kesey observed while doing night supervisory duty on a mental ward. For instance, the behaviour of George Sorenson, known as "Rub-a-Dub," who is so concerned about cleanliness he won't touch anyone, is an example of obsessive-compulsive disorder McMurphy bursts on the well-ordered, claustrophobic scene of the psychiatric ward like a psychological bombshell.
- Word count: 1198
Her husband is a physician and decides that the best thing for his wife is to spend a few months on an estate where she can cure her depression. She spends most of her time in her bedroom, which she seems to find most fascinating, especially the wallpaper. She describes it as "a smouldering unclean yellow." She also writes about how the bed is nailed down to the floor and the bars on the windows and the shoulder high groove that goes all the way around the room.
- Word count: 1613
How do directors of 'Rain Man' and 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' shows and convey powerful emotions? In both films, 'Rain Man' directed by Barry Levinson, and
Barry Levinson does not use a non-diagetic sound, so the audience can concentrate on dialogue and pauses. Music would distract the viewers during this essential scene and draw their attention away from the interaction between the characters. In 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', however, the director uses a non-diagetic sounds to show the characters' emotions. Music, when Chef escapes is a tribal Indian music. The music, combined with other media techniques, symbolises freedom and independence. What is more, at the beginning of the film, the music is similar to that of the end.
- Word count: 1402
Throughout Ken Kesey's tremendous novel, "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", the character of Chief Bromden develops from: a damaged, diminished man to a fully reformed human being.
This word choice helps to emphasise that the Chief is afraid of being combined and his humanity taken away. Chief Bromden believes that when the "combine" begins to lose its grip on the patients it emits a thick fog to subdue the patients. "They start the fog machine again its snowing down cold and white all over me like skimmed milk..." This effective use of a simile emphasises how Chief Bromden feels that the "combine" has a grasp on him and he cannot escape from it. Chief Bromden's social retardation is again displayed by him being referred to as an "acute", emphasisng the severe state of the patients.
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?the introduction [in a classic Hollywood narrative] phase typically includes a shot which establishes characters in space and time?. In this scene, the director shows first where the lead character (Jack Nicholson in the role of RP McMurphy) is, before showing viewers through a series of cut shots the proximity of all the other characters. ?As the characters interact, the scene is broken up into closer views of action and reaction?. This is particularly true in this scene; two of the patients are playing monopoly, one is standing at the door with a mop, two more patients are playing draughts, some are just standing around minding their own business, while McMurphy sits in the nonchalantly in the corner, feet resting high on the wash basin.
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The nurse and he seem to be in competition the whole time, who of them has more influence on the patients. He is played exactly the same way as he is described in the Kesey's original: as an open and self-confident man with oxblood colored skin, who is walking like a motorcyclist and don't like to be ordered around. The patient that we get to know the most in the story as well as in the screen play is Chief Bromden.
- Word count: 1257
"She took me to her parlour, and coooo-ooled me with her fan' ...I lu-uhvve that gamblin' man"1 Similarly Chief Bromden refers to the authoritative Nurse Ratched with cartoon symbolism and mechanical imagery. The Big Nurse is often referred to as a cartoon villain, funny in her excessive frustration and hateful in her manipulation of the patients, this doesn't show her as human so she is never sympathized with. "Like a cartoon world, where the figures are flat and outlined in black ...it weren't for the cartoon figures being real guys..."2 Ken Kesey shows disgust for people in power; the prime example is Nurse Ratched who uses fear and her natural dominance to manipulate and control her patients.
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One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is a book that presents a view of society that is still relevant to issues we experience today. In what ways do the characters in the book realistically represent a repressive world?
This is Bromden's vision of Big Nurse as an agent of the combine. The novel offers a compelling presentation of the way society manipulates individuals in order to have power. The hospital is a little world inside that is made to stereotype the big world outside. The Big Nurse uses her powers on the individual patients through humiliating them in the therapeutic meetings in order to keep the ward running smoothly. "The flock gets sight of a spot of blood on some chicken and they all go to peckin' at it, see, till they rip the chicken to shreds, blood and bones and feathers.
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Dale Harding seems relatively sane but there still are some abnormalities about him. He seems to be dominated by his boisterous wife, who intimidates him with her sexuality, and the fact he cant get over his wife's adultery, affects his self confidence and lowers his morale mainly because of his sexual inadequacy. It is quite possible that Harding is a closeted homosexual. Billy Bibbit on the other hand has some certain characteristics that could be seen as abnormal. He appears very young, mainly due to his persistent stutter and without a doubt suffers from paranoia.
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With specific reference to the novel, how would you argue that "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" has merits that make it a rewarding novel to read?
This is shown in lines filled with vivid imagery and black humour: "Everybody: breath in ... and out ... in perfect order; hearts all beating at the rate the OD cards have ordered. Sound of matched cylinders". (Pg 30) Though this is of course untrue and a result of the narrator Bromden's paranoia, the lines serve to imply to readers the totalitarian and conformist ways of the mental ward. This is representative of the conformity within American society and how individuals either have to conform to fit in or be sent to a mental institution to learn how to.
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Mac's, vibrant scruffy red hair is significant because it emphasises the difference between himself and the other patients and also that he is bringing color into an otherwise dull and boring ward Randle McMurphy is big, loud, sexual, dirty, and confident everything about his personality suggests a lack of control and will be a constant source of conflict for Nurse Ratched- he represents anarchy, disobedience, and lack of control while she represents rules, order and authority. Through Chief Bromden's narration it is clearly established that McMurphy is not, in fact, crazy, but trying to manipulate the system to his own advantage.
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They use their characters to portray the negative understanding of mental illnesses. In Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey uses his main character to emphasize the negative aspect of the treatment towards the mentally insane. In Plath's The Bell Jar, Plath uses her main character to emphasize that insanity can be rational as well as the negative aspects of the treatments used to "cure" the mentally insane. Kesey and Plath both provide intelligent ideas in an attempt to rebel against the conformities of society. Their ideas revolve around the negative labeling of the insane made by society and the emphasis on the significance of the inhumane treatments.
- Word count: 1674
By means of a close reading of the passage 'The big hard body...' to '...I been away a long time' consider in what ways this is an appropriate conclusion to one flew over the cuckoos nest.
'...he commences to laugh...But its not the way the Public Relation laughs, its free and loud and comes out of wide grinning mouth...' he is always referred to as having an independent mind, and although he has faults, for example gambling, the reader is aware that McMurphy is better with his faults than without, faults are what makes a person different from the rest, and faults are what makes a person who they are. In the concluding passage the Cheif smothers McMurphy and considers a person without a mind to be already dead.
- Word count: 1067
This gives the Chief, and the readers, a privileged viewpoint of the events in the novel. A scene in which this is particularly relevant is in the staff meeting: ?The staff always let me clean the room because they didn?t think I could hear.? In the ward, the staff always discuss private matters in the staff meeting and because the Chief stays in the room, he hears all the secrets. In this staff meeting, the Nurse makes it clear that she doesn?t like McMurphy or his motives. We also gain insight into the fact that there is a clear struggle for power between the Nurse and McMurphy and that the Nurse feels that her power is being threatened by McMurphy?s arrival at the ward.
- Word count: 1109