Every work of literature – whether long, short, humorous, or frightening – enables all readers to experience a certain set of emotions from the passages within the text; but what do these emotions imply? In How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster clarifies that these reactions closely associate with symbolic meanings. He specifies how “every reader’s experience of a work is unique” in order to explain that almost everything stands as a symbol and carries various ideas – depending on the reader’s emotional interpretation (Foster 110). Foster also mentions the concept of intertextuality in which pure originality is impossible, thus resulting with authors influencing one another. Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest stands
Hospitals are meant to help some people heal physically and others mentally. In the novel One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey published in 1962, readers are introduced to a mental hospital that has goals that do not align with helping people. Within the hospital, characters with varied personalities and opinions are intermixed with three main characters playing specific roles with supporting characters close by. With the characters’ motivations, themes develop such as the emasculation of the men in the hospital by an oppressive nurse. Symbols, such as laughter and the “combine”, are also pertinent to themes as the readers watch the men transitioning from being oppressed to being able to stand up for themselves causing change in hospital policy.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a novel written by Ken Kesey during a time in our society when pressures of our modern world seemed at their greatest. Many people were, at this time, deemed by society’s standards to be insane and institutionalized. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is set in a ward of a mental institution. The major conflict in the novel is that of power. Power is a recurring and overwhelming theme throughout the novel. Kesey shows the power of women who are associated with the patients, the power Nurse Ratched has, and also the power McMurphy fights to win. By default, he also shows how little power the patients have.
The 1960’s was a period of great dissatisfaction from people who felt their rights were being violated. Millions of Americans, young and old, black and white, came together to fight against racial discrimination and protest the Vietnam War. The government suppressed the southern black population the right to vote, while sponsoring a war in Vietnam that was widely unpopular. Reflecting the anti-establishment movements of the 1960’s, Ken Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It has since become an American classic for its themes of rebellion and nonconformity against an over controlling authority that does not respect individualism and humanity.
In the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, the lead protagonist, Randle McMurphy, changes over the course of the novel because of the characters that he meets and the effects they have on him. Originally, McMurphy was selfish, disrespectful, and inconsiderate, but then he forms closer bonds with the other characters and they change him and the way he views other people. The characters in the mental hospital struggle with conforming to the dictator in the ward, Nurse Ratched. McMurphy comes into the hospital as a way out of a prison sentence and tries to teach the patients that they need to stand up for themselves and do what they believe is right.
Red haired, rowdy, and raunchy are three words to describe the crazy, infamous McMurphy, while the Nurse is a prude, prideful and frigid ruler who is power-hungry over the mental institution. These two mixed together lead to a cunning war of dominance in the hospital. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest is a 1962 novel by Ken Kesey depicting the patients at an Oregon psychiatric hospital and how the of the patients and staff change when a new patient, Randle McMurphy arrives. From McMurphy 's devious schemes to manipulate the system to get what he wants, to the Nurse sabotaging his friends ' opinions of him in order to gain the upper hand, this superiority struggle has a definite winner at the end of the novel: McMurphy. McMurphy wins this battle with the Nurse because although he died at the end, he still overcomes and finds ways to manipulate Nurse Ratched 's harsh rules and regulations throughout the book, and leaves an effect on Ratched and the ward that proves the influence and power he had over all of them.
In this book written by Ken Kesey, the main character is a man named R.P. McMurphy who tricks people into thinking that he is a psychopath. To McMurphy, the asylum is a get out of jail free card, which quickly turns out to be something else entirely. However, one vital aspect of this book is the way in which it addresses and provides insight upon several contemporary issues relating to the American healthcare system, by illustrating the ways in which our modern healthcare system has improved and grown in the last five decades. This includes the following areas of healthcare: the need for a healthcare reform, the lack of healthy doctor-patient relationships, and the murky definition of mental illness.
Motives are the most common source of an outcome, leading individuals to every action that occurs. Every decision made by an individual is influenced by some sort of motive, whether it is physiological, social, or personal. Ken Kesey presents to the reader the inspiration behind the characters course of action in the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, resulting in the change of heart from Dr.Spivey and Randle McMurphy. The impact from other individuals often alters the reasoning for an action. Doctor Spivey originally supported Nurse Ratched’s actions, but Mcmurphy influenced him to make decisions based on the needs and wants of the patients. Mcmurphy inspires the men to voice their opinion and builds their confidence up, so that they can take on the Nurse. Nurse Ratched does not agree with the men, so she does everything in her power to eliminate the men's masculinity in order for her to keep the ward running like she desires.
“A success, they say, but I say he’s just another robot for the Combine and might be better off as a failure…”(17).
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest comes out of a nursery rhyme - “one flies east, one flies west, and one flies over the cuckoo's nest". The “one flew over” represents McMurphy and the “cuckoo’s nest” depicts the psychiatric ward. McMurphy’s personality gives way a sense of freedom and enlightenment to everyone in the ward - just as a bird helps others gain the ability to fly. This novel contains lots of imagery and metaphors, but the most interesting aspect of it is how the Combine relates to society as a whole and how we as a people abide by it.
When McMurphy finds out that he is one of two patients that are involuntarily committed to the hospital, it makes him realize that he alone is fighting for his freedom, and the others have been repressed by Ratched to the point of being afraid to rebel against her or simply leave. McMurphy fights until the end to free these men of their emasculation even if it
society, as well as sanity vs. insanity are greatly expressed through the characters actions and events in the novel, as seen from a patients eyes. Randle McMurphy, the main character of the novel portrays the theme of the individual against society through his dealings with Nurse Ratched and the hospital. “The main action of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest consists of McMurphy's struggles against Nurse Ratched. Her ward at the hospital is a society in itself. McMurphy challenges the rules from the beginning” (Malin 224). The effects of the battle between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched is expressed in the reactions of both characters, as well as the changes brought to the ward. “But she stops. She was flustered for a second there. Some of the acutes hide grins, and McMurphy takes a huge stretch, yawns, winks at Harding” (Keasey 45). The individual vs. society theme is clearly displayed here though McMurphy's struggle against the rules of the asylum, and against the rule of Nurse Ratched. This represents a a man, or individual, fighting for his own rights when faced with the views and obstacles forced upon him by a tyrannical society with strict guidelines. The second major theme in this novel, tied to the individual vs. society, is the theme of insanity vs. sanity. “Sanity vs. insanity is a topic that is established by society itself, set by public values and rules on what normalcy should be and what insane should be qualified
Ken Kesey's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is a creation of the socio-cultural context of his time. Social and cultural values, attitudes and beliefs informed his invited reading of his text.
Our perspective of a stranger whom we’ve never met nor seen, but only heard of through the mouth of the enemy’s opinion, will inevitably align with the only version of the story we’ve heard. This sort of bias is found in Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, with Nurse Ratched’s depiction through the narration by Chief Bromden. The reliability of Bromden’s perspective is questionable, as it is his interpretation of the world, rather than what it actually is.