One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a novel by Ken Kesey published in 1962 by Viking Press. The book depicts a man named Randle McMurphy’s adventures as he is placed in a mental institution to serve his life sentence for raping a 15-year-old girl. McMurphy meets and befriends other patients who are in much worse condition than he is, and attempts to inspire a rebellion against the tyrannical warden of the facility, Nurse Ratched. The book spends a lot of time shedding light on how mental disorders and illnesses work, as well as touches on masculinity, insecurity, impulse, sexuality, power, leadership, authority, racial sensitivity, and more. I intend to dissect and deconstruct this novel and peer at its inner meaning through the spectacles of Sigmund Freud, esteemed Austrian psychologist. Freud’s highly regarded contribution to the study of the human brain and mind opens the curtains of the books reality. Things like mental illness and depression were not well known or understood traits for a person to have in Freud’s lifetime, those of which have heavy representation in Kesey’s story. One of Freud’s biggest theories is the “id”, the “ego”, and the “superego”. He believed that the “id” represents one’s instincts, “ego” represents reality, and “superego” represents morality. Your primary consciousness is the “ego”. You process information and create rational thoughts with this part of the mind. On one shoulder lies the “id”, designed to act on impulse and primal conditioning.

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