We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Psychological Analysis of the “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” Essay Sample

The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Psychological Analysis of the “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” Essay Sample

The release of Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1962 made lots of noise in the literary world of America and soon reached all the other countries. Since that time readers were waiting for the film, and only 13 years after, people were able to see the movie premiere of Ken Kesey’s masterpiece. Based on novel, the film was shot by Milos Forman, who conquered the whole world of cinematography and received five Oscars. In this “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” essay example we will analyze the portrayal of an honest, realistic, devastating picture of psychological boundaries between sanity and insanity. The article includes deep psychoanalysis of the characters who are trying to understand their inner Egos and gain spiritual freedom.

Analysis of psychology may begin even with the movie title because “Cuckoo’s Nest” symbolizes psychiatric institution, and “One Flew” means flight to meet freedom, to escape from perpetual insanity of our lives. This metaphor can also be perceived as a universal parable that tells about the relation of individuals to problems of freedom, whether it the personal or socially significant ones. Another explanation can be connected with the American society because each individual is left alone in the “nest” to create himself or herself. By understanding metaphorical title of the movie, viewers can get better insight of its hidden sense, psychological meaning.

The most prominent feature of the movie is its relation to the present, although the text was written more than 50 years ago. There are no shades of the past or future because it is relevant at all times. The themes connected with the psychological disorders will always be up-to-date, this significant feature makes this masterpiece immortal. Thanks to lively and dynamic language of the narration, all visual images are filled with the whole gamut of colors, sounds.

In the story, there are subtle psychological thoughts, excellent ideas and very unusual, incredible situations. Characters experience inner conflicts which resemble realistic problems. Movie narrator tries to overcome inner controversies by receiving freedom; it is significant for him to gain victory over himself. Experiencing the same emotions simultaneously with the characters or actors, you get a desire to look at yourself, to compare yourself with the described events, situations, to embrace yourself with other discussed psychological issues – to the fullest and widest of the soul. Through the vision of narrator, the world around the reader’s imagination looms brightly, colorfully and vividly.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest ” is a much more complicated film than it may seem. The reader question why the main character is not the narrator of the plot. It is the specific feature of psychological impact on viewers: in the real psychiatric institutions, the most influential person may wait in silence. Unless you haven’t read the novel before watching the film, you can even not notice Chief Bromden who gets lost among the other patients. It seems that all short scenes with his participation serve only as an indicator of overall atmosphere. This confusion of connecting narrator and protagonist is called in literature third-person narration. Such an effect creates deeper image of insanity which penetrates the whole film. When there is a boundary between normal and insane life perception, everything becomes blurred, and this is why narration makes the film more complicated but interesting to watch.

Characters can be compared with the Jung’s theory of Archetypes. McMurphy is not a hero at all; he is just the Indian’s imagination which symbolizes undisclosed opportunities. The events taking place in the psychiatric hospital reflect inner drama of a man who becomes an insignificant creature closed in cage. Situations that happens in the film is not about real people; it is just a dream of Chief. The entire set of characters represent images of the Chief’s subconscious. The events in the film make the reader analyze similar self-images inside each of us.

The denouement of the film is unexpected and leaves a controversial inner feeling. Soft irony, along with comic situations and harmoniously interwoven plot, becomes an inseparable part of the whole story. The central conflict is hidden inside the Chief’s mind – the battle between Freedom and Submission. By killing McMurphy, he refuses to fight any longer. He does this not because of giving up. He is just overwhelmed with everything that happened in the psychiatric institutions, and he does not want to “play these games anymore.” Chief manages to find his freedom – not the one which he gets after the escape from prison, but the spiritual one, hidden in the depth of his conscience.


  • Forman Miloš, director. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. United Artists, 1975.
  • Jung, C. G. The Archetypes, and the Collective Unconscious. Routledge, 2014.
  • Miller, Liizl Helena. An Evaluation of the Film One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest as a Medium for the Training of Psychotherapists. 2010.

Read next:

A sample of 12 Angry Men essay
Wayne’s World
How has AIDS focused the issue of identity for gay males in film

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

The Pit and the Pendulum 1961 review

The Pit and the Pendulum movie based on Poe’s classic tale has been adapted for screen 3 times over the course of 50 years. This is how it goes, envision being condemned to an unbearable demise with no knowledge into when or how it will occur. In Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Pit and the Pendulum', the anonymous storyteller ends up in a startling circumstance after...

What is homeostasis?

The definition of homeostasis tells that the propensity to keep up a stable, moderately steady inside condition is called homeostasis. The body keeps up homeostasis for some variables notwithstanding temperature. For example, the convergence of different particles in your blood must be kept unfaltering, alongside pH and the centralization of glucose. On the off chance that these qualities get too high or low, you can...

1924 States Plan History

The Dawes Plan 1924 was point by point to expel Weimar Germany from hyperinflation and to reestablish Weimar's economy to some kind of relentlessness. The Dawes Plan definition tells it got its name as the man who headed the leading group of trustees was an American called Charles Dawes. The Treaty of Versailles had constrained enormous reparation portions on Weimar Germany to pay for the...

Summary of the Lives of Others

He sits like a man stepping through a hearing exam, huge earphones clasped over his ears, his body and face solidified, tuning in for a faraway sound. His name is Gerd Wiesler, and he is a chief in the Stasi, the infamous mystery police of East Germany. The year is, fittingly, 1984, and he is Big Brother, viewing. He sits in an upper room for...

Maccabian Janissaries – Explanation

The Maccabian Janissaries are the veiled, devout battling power of the Holy place of worship universe of Maccabeus Quintus. Energetic in confidence and over the top in war, the Janissaries are the first class handpicked patrols of the planet who try to spread the royal truth to all sides of the universe. Along these lines, many see that turning into a Janissary is the best...

Get Access To The Full Essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member