Ken Kesey’s Cuckoo’s Nest

The magic of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is in the point of view, Chief Bromden sharing his thoughts on the insanity of life.

The Big Nurse is able to set the wall clock at whatever speed she wants by just turning one of those dials in the steel door; she take a notion to hurry things up, she turns the speed up, and those hands whip around that disk like spokes in a wheel. The scene in the picture-screen windows goes through rapid changes of light to show morning, noon and night – throb off and on furiously with day and dark, and everyone is driven like mad to keep with the passing of that fake time.

But generally it’s the other way, the slow way. She’ll turn the dial to a dead stop and freeze the sun there on the screen so it don’t move a scant hair for weeks, so not a leaf on a tree or a blade of grass in the pasture shimmers. The clock hands hang at two minutes to three and she’s liable to hang them there till we rust. (71-2)

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