Rhetorical Analysis Of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest By Ken Kessey

779 words - 4 pages

The author, Ken Kessey, in his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, depicts how cruel and dehumanizing oppression can be. Kessey’s purpose is to reveal that there are better ways to live than to let others control every aspect of a person’s life. He adopts a reflective tone and by using the techniques of imagery and symbolism, he encourages readers, especially those who may see or face oppression on a regular basis, to realize how atrocious it can be and even take action against it.
Kessey’s vivid imagery is a crucial part of Bromden’s perceptions as it provides insight to why Bromden resents the Combine, a metaphor he uses for society. For example, in one of his nightmares caused by a ...view middle of the document...

This uncloaks those like the Big Nurse as sadistic people who only wish to spread their influence and enslave more. The events in the story force the reader to confront the idea of such people actually existing and although they may wear a polite mask like Nurse Ratched does, it still gives off the impression that such oppression is sickening and immoral.
Another of Kessey’s most effective tools is symbolism which he uses to compare how depriving people of their freedom is similar to depriving people of their humanity. For instance, the Vegetable Blastic, when cut open, was filled with “rust and ashes, and [an occasional] piece of wire or glass” (P88). The ash within Blastic symbolizes how through being treated as nothing more than a vegetable, it burned away what made him human inside. The rust shows that the the staff, who Bromden sees as machines of the Combine, have been dehumanizing old Blastic for years and the wire shows that they were trying to incorporate him into the Combine as a machine as well. This depiction of Blastic also reveals how Bromden sees the hospital not as a place of healing but rather as a place to be butchered. The author tries to convey that medicine is not the only part of the cure to...

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