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One Flew Over the Cuckoo

             In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, there are many different themes seen throughout the story. In many different cases, examples of obedience (and lack of) and prejudice are seen. Also, there is a question that runs through the reader's head throughout the novel; is McMurphy really insane? All of the ward patients obey Nurse Ratched (the Big Nurse), prejudice is seen when the black servants make fun of Chief Bromden and McMurphy seems too normal to be insane. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the most dominant themes are obedience, prejudice and the question of true insanity.
             The strongest theme in this novel is prejudice. Many of the mental people from the ward believe that Chief Bromden a.k.a. "Chief Broom" is deaf. They simply make this assumption without and supporting medical evidence. Because of this belief, they feel the need to mock him and make fun of him right to his face. In the beginning of the novel one of the black boys says, "Haw, you look at "im shag it? Big enough to eat apples off my head an" he mine like a baby" (pg 3). The black boy who made this comment was mocking the fact that Chief Broom is really big and could beat any of them up, but instead he just takes orders from them. Prejudice is also seen throughout the whole book in the sense that many people who are in the ward truly should not be. People like Chief Broom who have not done anything in the ward to prove mental instability or insanity should not have to stay in the ward for their whole lives. Also, when any member of the ward does something that is seen as "wrong" or "abnormal", they are treated severely through possible lobotomies or EST (Electric Shock Therapy). The ward employees hand out these treatments without discussion or finding out the true problem with the patient.

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