One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Essay

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Ken Kesey is an author from the 1960’s, who is best known for his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Kesey’s novel was written as a result of his many trials with experimental drugs. While he was under the influence of drugs, like LSD, he would brainstorm ideas for his novel. After sobering, he would re-visit the ideas and get rid of what he thought to be ‘trash’ (Lehmann-Haupt). Kesey got a job working on the psychiatric ward of a hospital to earn extra money. While there, he took to observing the world that the patients were subjected to, which led to the ideas put forth in his novel (Lehmann-Haupt). He observed that the patients did not have much of a choice when it came to their daily life. He used his real-life experiences to create a character in which he would use to narrate the story in a first-person point of view. Kesey created a fictional character, whose rebellion, arrogance, and love for gambling gave a much-needed…show more content…
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has two main settings-the institution and the “outside” that the patients experience on the fishing trip (Kesey). Inside the walls, the patients have no authority, no control over their decisions, and no sense of freedom. When they go on their fishing trip with McMurphy, they quickly realize that they have entered a realm in which they are not familiar. When people notice the green scrubs they are wearing, and realize they are from the asylum, the patients can tell that most of the people they encounter are uneasy. This realization leads Bromden to ponder the thought of actually having power on the outside. Kesey used this sense of fear to portray a feeling of power to Bromden. Kesey explained this with his quote by Bromden, “Never before did I realize that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become”
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