One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Analysis

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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 voice to the patients. Kesey’s personal experience in the hospital created the framework in which he would use to explain his perception of the similarities between life in a mental institution and the repression in the American society. The book is narrated in first-person by the main character, Chief Bromden (Kesey). Randle McMurphy, is introduced in the second chapter. McMurphy is a new admission to the asylum, who got into some trouble, and pleaded insanity instead of having to pay for his dues by being sentenced to work on a work farm
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