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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey - Barron's Booknotes
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The Chief thinks of Joey Fish In a Barrel, who, like the Chief's
father, saw his tribal life destroyed and has found no
replacement for it: he received money for his land to buy cars
he doesn't know how to drive. The Chief thinks of a crap game.
He is the dice, and he is loaded against McMurphy-he and the
other patients are destroying McMurphy by encouraging him to
sacrifice himself for their benefit.



He wonders what McMurphy said just before he was taken into
the Shock Shop. Again he remembers his Indian boyhood,
when he was a good student but stripped of confidence-for
what can even an educated Indian become except a rug weaver
or a drunk? We see him working at a gas station where a
customer can't believe he speaks English. He remembers his
grandma's funeral; objecting to the white ceremony, his father
and his uncle dig up the body to hang it from a tree in a
traditional Indian custom. The act sent them to jail.

Now, however, as the treatment comes to a close, the Chief
begins to feel better. The images that pass through his mind are
more peaceful. Even after death, his grandma is chanting her
rhyme. The loaded dice are at rest. And the Chief is able to
remember what McMurphy said: "Guts ball." McMurphy has
made the Chief big enough to play guts ball; the Chief is now
fighting back on his own. As he awakes from the treatment,
we're reminded of the book's opening as he says, "They're out
there." But the Chief is a different man now. The fog is
coming, but, he says, "I won't slip off and hide in it. No... never
again."

"I saw an aide coming up the hall with a tray for me and knew
this time I had them beat."

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey - Barron's Booknotes
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