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one flew

Examine the motif of invisibility and its function in the novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."


There is a motif of invisibility in the interactions of the characters in Kesey's work.  I think this is most evident in McMurphy's desire to show the inmates what can be as opposed to what is.  The vision McMurphy offers over Nurse Ratched's vision is steeped in the idea of being invisible.  The other inmates do not really see what McMurphy is trying to do, as they are content with the progression of their lives under Ratched's control.  This is seen very well in the lifting of the water fountain moment.  McMurphy sees a path to freedom that is invisible to the other inmates.  It is not understood nor acknowledged, yet in his mind, he sees it clearly. Bordering on a Quixote- like moment, there is much in the way of invisibility in this instant, for it hearkens the idea that invisibility is not the same as impossibility.

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