Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is a unique fiction novel about oppression and rebellion in an American 1950's Mental Hospital. In this highly distinctive novel, setting definitely refers to the interior, the interiors of the Institution. It also refers to the period this novel this was set in, the 50's, 60's where McCarthyism was dominant. Furthermore, it has great symbolic value, representing issues such as the American struggle of freedom and conformity. This essay shall discuss the setting' & its significance towards Ken Kesey's "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest".
“Everyone… must follow the rules” (Kesey 24). Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest exemplifies the social oppression and the suffocation of individualism. According to William Dubose, Ken Kesey has aroused numerous issues concerning social oppression and the ramifications on the individual. (Book Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). This is why characters in this novel are discreet. Their rights are paralyzed in the psychiatry ward they reside in. I will argue how Chief Bromden, the narrator, burst from being an invalid male in-patient to a character who gains agency in the denouement through actions set upon him by characters, Nurse Ratched, his fellow inmates (Dale Harding and Billy Bibbit) and McMurphy, leading to his individualism.
The 1960s are commonly known as an age of sex, drugs, and rock and roll: a significant contrast from the former proper, devoted family of the 1950s. During the 1960s, in contrast to the 1950s, the emphasis on religion wasn’t as noteworthy as before. As Ken Kesey, born in 1935, experienced these changes while maturing, he had the opportunity to touch upon old religious ideas in many of his novels. More specifically, Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest constantly alludes to the Bible, with references to Hell and its machine-like dwellers, as well as numerous Christ-like figures, in order to further establish his meaning.
Works of literature innately embody the author’s ideology and the historical context of the given time period. Within the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, the author furthers his ideals against the issue of oppression as he attempts to take stabs against its deteriorating effects and support those who rebel. Set in the microcosm of a small mental hospital, he establishes man’s external struggle to overcome tyranny. At the head of the head of the ward is the corrupted character of Nurse Ratched, who rules with an iron fist and the help of her machine like aides. It also features the nonconformist character, McMurphy, as he works to break Nurse Ratched’s endless cycle of tyranny. Although the novel shifts between the
Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is a unique fiction novel about oppression and rebellion in an American 1950’s Mental Hospital. In this highly distinctive novel, setting definitely refers to the interior, the interiors of the Institution. It also refers to the period this novel this was set in, the 50’s, 60’s where McCarthyism was dominant. Furthermore, it has great symbolic value, representing issues such as the American struggle of freedom and conformity. This essay shall discuss the ‘setting’ & its significance towards Ken Kesey’s “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.
Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is a book in which he dealt with the issues of racism, sex and authority that is going on in a mental institute. In the novel, the women are depicted as the power figures who are able to significantly manipulate the patients on the ward. There are four ways of Ken Kesey’s using of “woman” as a subject: Superiority of male sexuality over female authority, matriarchal system that seeks to castrate men in the society, mother figures as counterpart of Big Nurse and “Womanish” values defined as civilizing in the novel.
In this world, there are two sides to everything. Whether it may be a message, a film or a novel, each platform of literature has two different windows. The first being the depiction of the author and the second being the interpretation of the audience. This concept is evident within both works this essay seeks to explore. In Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest, a charismatic criminal, Randle P. McMurphy is admitted to a state asylum due to his will of serving out of prison sentence in a mental hospital rather than the penitentiary. McMurphy brings in the outside world to the admitted patients after being legally declared insane through a condensed interview with a psychiatrist. He symbolizes freedom, life and the power of an
Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest operates as an entertaining and interesting novel on a pure surface level. There’s a good story, well-developed characters and fresh language. It has all the workings of a good novel, but One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest isn’t just a good novel. It’s a great one, because Kesey uses Chief Bromden’s perspective to let imagery flow out of the novel and have it all come back to one theme: individuality and its repression by society. This idea is highlighted by the image of gambling vs. playing it safe, whether in literal card games or as a way of living. The mental ward’s new patient, Randle Patrick McMurphy, is a self-described “gambling fool” (12)1, while his opposer, “Big Nurse” Ratched,
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.
Ken Kesey’s figurative language in his novel, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, suggests that broken individuals can connect and make each other whole again. The traumatic events that occur when the patients are younger still affect them in their current state. For example, throughout his life, Bromden has always been assumed to be deaf and dumb. When he spoke to people their “machinery dispose[d] of the words like they weren’t even spoken” (181). Kesey’s metaphor represents how Bromden feels that the Combine influences him. When Bromden speaks, the words do not “fit” in the listener’s brain and they ignore him (181). Being a large Native American man, Bromden does not fit into the mold that is set by the Combine (societal expectations), so
Visual and concrete references strengthen Christ imagery in Kesey’s novel. For example, on the fishing trip, he goes with twelve other patients, an obvious reference to Jesus and the twelve disciples. In addition, there is some degree of betrayal of
In 1962, when One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (the Nest), was published, America was at the start of decade that would be characterized by turmoil. Involvement in Vietnam was increasing, civil rights marches were taking place in the south and a new era of sexual promiscuity and drug use was about to come into full swing. Young Americans formed a subgroup in American society that historians termed the “counterculture”. The Nest is a product of time when it was written. It is anti-authoritarian and tells the tale of a man's rebelling against the establishment. Kesey used metaphor to make a social commentary on the America of the sixties. In this paper I will
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a controversial novel that has left parents and school authorities debating about its influence on students since its publication in 1962. The novel describes the inner workings of a mental institution, how the patients are emasculated and mistreated by the terrifying Nurse Ratched, who will go to any length to control them. But in comes McMurphy, a criminal who chose to go to an asylum rather than serve physical labor; he disrupts the order of the hospital with his big personality and loud opinions, undermining the authority of Nurse Ratched and encouraging the patients to live their own lives, until he too, is silenced forever by authority. With his novel, Ken Kesey paints society as an oppressive
The story comes from Kesey’s own experiences working on the Graveyard shift as an orderly at a Mental Institution, where he witnessed the Bureaucratic workings of the Institution and looks at the struggle for Power and Control