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ClassicNote on One Flew Over the Cuckoos NestOne Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest is narrated by Chief Bromden also known as Chief Broom a mute Indian known for mopping the mental institution where he is confined The black boys in white suits who work in the ward mock Chief Broom they think that he is deaf and dumb and cannot hear them Nurse Ratched also known as Big Nurse enters Her lips and her fingernails are both a funny color of orange and she carries a woven wicker bag filled with pills needles wire and forceps She moves with precise automatic gestures Her face is smooth and calculated but she has large breasts that seem out of place She orders the black boys to shave Chief Bromden who quickly disappears As he hides he thinks about his father and the Columbia River One of the black boys finds him and they start to shave him He hallucinates that there is an Air Raid and that the fog machine starts again In the first chapter Kesey sets up the structure of the mental institution where the novel takes place The authority figure is clearly Nurse Ratched as yet known only as Big Nurse a woman whose characteristics seem barely human Kesey makes everything about Nurse Ratched mechanical and automated such as her robotic movements and precise speech She is a symbol of bureaucracy and authority in general However even within this first chapter there are indications that behind this seemingly inhuman faade there is some great instability Chief Bromden seems to believe that Nurse Ratched is ready to snap at the black boys at any moment and her large breasts the one incongruous part of her appearance show that she is incapable of fully separating herself from normal human characteristics The black boys the workers at the institution serve Nurse Ratched out of fear however their most prominent characteristic is a complete hatred for all around
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