Summary Of ' One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest '

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The context of the novel is explored through the background of the author in order to understand the purpose of the text. Ken Kelsey is born in 1935, in La Junta, Colorado.(Biography) During his years at Stanford, he worked as a night attendant on the psychiatric ward of a hospital, where he witnessed the treatment of the inmates and the effects of the sterile structure on their identity and sanity. (NY Times) His experience at the hospital as a aid and as a voluntary experiment subject led to the birth of his 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest. (NY Times) Through the novel, he communicates his dissent against the post-war society that castrates men by sypressing their sexulity and sacrifices their spirit. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest, he constructs a mental ward that held microcosmic resemblance to the post-war American society. He critiques power in American society through descriptions of the Combine and highlights the virtues of male strength and sexuality by placing them in opposition to the ruthless characteristics of females. Nurse Ratched, an oppressive female figure of power, emasculates her patients to empower herself. She represents Kesey 's fear of a feminizing society. Randall McMurphy’s struggle against Nurse Ratched and the system of the “combine” represents a struggle between gender for power. His culminating sacrifice for the group by attacking Nurse Ratched is analogous to a rape act, which links manhood with virility. The inconclusive

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