Violence In Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Restricted but not Forgotten Literature, old or modern, has always been subject to criticism and judgement due to the issues that exist within classic novels. Whether the issue contains profanity, violence, or content too mature for young readers, concerned parents and students continue to threaten to ban and forget award-winning books’ existences. Unfortunately for Ken Kesey’s classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, restricting the novel is potentially the only course of action. While the book displays violence unsuitable for high school curriculums, libraries must continue to include Ken Kesey’s classic novel. Although the novel teaches valuable life lessons about individuality and is mild compared to modern media, high school curriculums…show more content…
Children of African-American backgrounds feel especially targeted by the diction and phrases utilized by authors from different eras. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest contains explicit and racial language considered inappropriate or harmful to adolescent readers. In the novel, McMurphy enters the hospital with a sense of authority and swagger, “‘God d@#$, Sam! can’t you wait half a minute to prod me with that d@#$ thermometer of yours?’” (14). Also, from later in the book, “McMurphy raised his voice. ‘G@#$&*%+= motherf@#$&*% n@#$&*!’ The black boy shook his head...” (273). Racist remarks and profanity inflict negative effects on children and adolescents of the high-school age or younger. The Smithsonian website elicits, “the results of a national survey find that children who experience racism appear to be at higher risk of anxiety and depression, and tend to have poorer health in general” (Panko). Adolescents reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and other classics are potentially harming themselves and their health. The risks of damaging a child’s mind and body do not compare to the lessons within books that contain violent, sexual, and racist…show more content…
Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which contains multiple issues that are unsuitable for adolescent readers, should remain available. In order to understand the hypocrisy of the situation, one must identify and acknowledge other aspects of the modern American society. Children entertain themselves with inappropriate television shows and video games. Social media and the News supply direct visuals of graphic content to the public, yet, concerned parents insist the true danger lies within literary classics which supply the readers with valuable insight. Also, fictional masterpieces such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest offer mental benefits through reading. Christopher Bergland, world-class endurance athlete and political activist, expresses through his blog, “researchers found that becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function” (Bergland). Nonetheless, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and numerous other novels containing profanity and racist slurs, violence, and sexual acts are too mature for young or adolescent readers. Therefore, high school curriculums should refrain from including inappropriate literature for the mental, physical, and social safety of the children. Research shows in the past and continues to show that children benefit greatly without the negative

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