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Various symbols have been used to communicate the main themes in the book. The machine, religion, women and the carnival are but just some of the symbols that have been conspicuously used in the novel to communicate the ideas related to freedom of individuals in the novel (Barry 37). In the book, Kesey effectively builds in the reader’s mind the idea that the insanity that is being controlled in the men by the authorities could be in higher levels among the authorities themselves as opposed to the men that they are trying to rehabilitate. As a matter of fact, the level of soberness and madness that exists in every individual in the society has effectively been brought out in the novel, thanks to the main symbols that Kesey employs in addressing the reader. Unlike the machine, religion and women which are the other symbols used in the book, the carnival that was created in the ward forms the climax of the story by Kesey. It is through McMurphy that the idea of having a carnival in the men’s ward was proposed to Dr. Spivey.
McMurphy has been effectively used by Kesey and the narrator in the book to address very basic and crucial issues that the men in the ward are facing. Given the fact that McMurphy comes out to be a very sane man given the fact that he committed his life at the hospital as a way of escaping the work at the prison farm that was overwhelming him during his six month service (Kesey 61). He has been used very much in the novel in addressing the theme of freedom in the society among all individuals despite differences in them.
One of the main instances that he attempts to bring up freedom to the men in the ward is at the point where he intelligently influences Dr. Spivey to accept making up a carnival for the men in the ward. As a way of expressing his own might over the big nurse, McMurphy has strategically used this idea and done it by pulling Dr. Spivey on his side. Although it seems like the Big Nurse is rejecting Dr. Spivey’s idea of the men having a carnival in real sense it is a direct rebellion towards McMurphy as one of the men in the machine (Dale and Ken 52). The first rejection that the Big Nurse poses towards the idea presents a ground in which Kesey is preparing victory for McMurphy as the main fighter for freedom of the men in the novel.Later on in the novel, Dr. Spivey again proposes the idea and Big Nurse once more rejects it although her efforts are futile since this time round, the idea by Dr. Spivey is accepted and adopted. The men are therefore granted the carnival. This is a battle that the reader paints in his mind as one that has been directly won by McMurphy against the big nurse. This is the climax of the story since finally; the freedom that McMurphy has been fighting for all along in the novel is coming to pass (Barry 37). He is finally bringing freedom to the men in the hospital while the Big Nurse is loosing ultimately against the battle. McMurphy manages to completely undermine the Big Nurse’s power by winning the battle and this forms the climax of the story line in Kesey’s book. It is due to this reason that the symbol of the carnival as freedom want for the men in the ward is the most important symbol.