One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest | Study Guide

Ken Kesey

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Course Hero. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 19 Sep. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-Nest/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, July 28). One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 19, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-Nest/

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Course Hero. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-Nest/.

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Course Hero, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed September 19, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-Nest/.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest | Part 1, Chapter 7 | Summary

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Summary

Bromden refuses to take the little red pill that makes him "paralyzed with sleep." He is soon lost in a terrifying dream in which the dormitory is lowered into the heart of the hospital and surrounded by churning machinery. The air is filled with the sound of a hydroelectric dam. He sees Blastic, the oldest Vegetable on the ward, picked up by a hook that pierces his Achilles' tendon. Once he is upside down in the air, a factory worker slits open Blastic's torso. Rust, ashes, wire, and glass spill out of the dead man's body.

Bromden wants to warn the other men, who are sleeping soundly in their beds, but he knows nobody will believe him. Public Relation enters the scene, dressed in a corset with shrunken heads dangling from the ribbons in the back. The fog begins rolling in, and Bromden knows he'll be returning to the ward soon. He wakes to find Mr. Turkle, the night aide, shaking his arm. A few beds away, a dead Blastic is being transferred to a stretcher.

Analysis

Bromden's dream underscores his innate belief that the hospital is a giant machine in which faulty robots are discarded or repaired. When Blastic is sliced open, there is no sign of the human that once was. That makes it easier for Public Relation to remove Blastic's head and wear it like a talisman of another job well done.

Public Relation's attire, a corset, is a nod to the theme of emasculation that runs throughout the book. This constrictive piece of women's clothing indicates that he is no more of a "man" than any of the patients in Nurse Ratched's ward.

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