One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Insanity Analysis

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Either conform and be released, or maintain your integrity and be kept in the ward. This is the harsh reality that Ken Kesey wrote about in his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Throughout the novel, Kasey makes the readers question whether these people were so different that they needed to be treated in a special manner, or if they were only different from the majority of society who took the easy way out by placing them in an institute and forgetting about them. This novel served as an inspiration to many, and continues to have people questioning authority, and more importantly, questioning insanity to this day. Ken Kesey shows that the line drawn between sanity and insanity is based entirely on individual perception, and it is difficult to determine exactly where that line should be drawn. Minds may be altered through ingestion of prescribed medication, or be substance-free and shaped solely by social norms and values, but in all cases reality is shown to be an entirely subjective experience. The apparently sane reader will be aware at the start that they are reading the narration of someone who is paranoid and delusional, but at some …show more content…

Those in charge of the Chief's care are unaware of these facts. No attempt has been made on their part to link events in his early life with the symptoms he is now experiencing. They cannot see past the text book presentation of schizophrenia. Kesey is telling us that mental illness is not strictly an illness at all. It is simply a form of individual expression that makes the majority of society feel uncomfortable. Therefore, the best way of dealing with it is to remove that individual. People such as Chief Bromden would be locked up in asylums for many years with no attempts at finding causative factors for their illness until psychiatry began to undergo paradigm shifts in this

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