Why Is One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Be Banned

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Ken Kasey’s One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a literary classic known not only for its superb style and captivating story, but also for a number of well-publicized attempts to ban the book from school and public libraries dating back to the 1970’s just after the initial publication of the story. In 1974, the board of education in Strongsville, OH was pressured with a lawsuit to ban One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The plaintiff in the case (five residents of Strongsville) presented a long and complicated argument for why the book should be banned from the school system in Stronsville, which was mostly based on violence. In the opinion of the plaintiff, the book, “glorifies criminal activity, has a tendency to corrupt juveniles, and contains …show more content…

These include: Removal from school libraries in Randolph, NY for violent nature in 1975. Removal from Alton, OK for violence and language in 1975, removed from the required reading list at Westport, MA public schools in 1977, banned from the St. Anthony, Idaho Freemont High School classrooms in 1978 for violence also, the instructor was fired for teaching the book. Additionally, the book was challenged at the Merrimack, N.H High School in 1982, and also challenged as part of the curriculum in an Aberdeen, Washington High School honors English class because the book promotes "secular humanism." In each case, the premise of the ban or challenge was based upon either language or violence, but never did the schools or challengers take into account the audience and what they had already been exposed to prior to reading the …show more content…

This means that most students reading the novel would be 13 or 14 at least, and as young adults, the school districts all failed to take into account the experiences they had most likely already had in life. Course language is no stranger to the high school hallways and neither is the mild violence portrayed in the book. Today, PG-13 movies allow one use of the f-word as a verb and three uses of the f-word as an expletive. As long as no graphic seen of hard drug use is shown, a movie is also given a PG-13 rating. Furthermore, the MPAA has said that to earn higher than a PG-13 rating, movies must show “Extreme and graphic violence.” If this rating system is used to evaluate One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, most people would easily see that this movie fits the rating for the PG-13 section of movies, and if that is truly the case, there is no reason to ban the book from 13 year olds, despite the content being marginally questionable. Parents would rather let their children see an extremely violent movie like The Dark Night which is rated PG-13, than to let them read a classic book, and this is questionable reasoning. I firmly believe that the challenges and bans of One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest should be lifted, or at least adjusted in accordance with the movie

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