Misogyny In Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo

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The criticism, “Madness and Misogyny in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” written by Daniel J. Vitkus, explains the cultural criticism experienced in Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. During the publication of Kesey’s novel, the world was experiencing a rapid social evolution where women were starting to strip away their feminist qualities in order to gain power and authority while society was re-defining “reason against unreason”, and intermingling the opposite meanings of criminal and psychopath (Vitkus, 64). In the sixties, society had a limited and/or vague understanding about individuality and/or being different; therefore, some were “defined as crazy because they are different” (Vitkus, 69) and as a result, were locked away in a mental institution because that …show more content…

So not only was a “crazy” person unlawfully trapped in a mental institution, they were also subjected to societies “humane” methods of therapy, “including drugs and shock therapy, to rehabilitate its patients” (Vitkus, 74). One of the methods formerly used to treat mental illness and stopped in 1947 was called Lobotomy, which means a surgical operation involving incision into the prefrontal lobe of the brain, which was described as “frontal-lob castration” because “if she can’t cut below the belt she’ll do it above the eyes” (Kensey, 164). A Lobotomy, in the Combines eyes, is considered a permanent “fix” and deemed successful to returning those once insane back to the outside world of reality. Therefore, the social understanding and models of practices experienced in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest represents “a whole analogical system that serves, metaphorically, to define the inhumanity of a society that demands total conformity” (Vitkus,

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