one flew over the cuckoos nest analysis

“This is one of the most fantastic novels of individualism pitted against the vast depersonalization of industrial society ever written. Ken Kesey has an extraordinary grasp of the challenges faced by us all in modern civilization, and he is able to convey his ideas through some of the richest imagery I have ever read.” ‘Ann’ from ‘’

Good morning English panel chair. My name is Chelsea Pryde and today I will persuade you to pick the novel, ‘One flew over the cuckoos nest’ to be in the top 10 of books secondary schools queensland wide, should study. Ken Kesey is the author of the novel. He was born in 1935 in Colorado, and died November 2001. Kesey was elected on high school to be likely to succeed. He became a volenteer in a program to test the effects of a new drug at the local veterans adminstration hospital. Kesey then discoved LSD and became interested in studying alterenative methods of perception.

He then took a job in a mental instituation where he spoke extensively to the patients. This is when Kesey got the idea to write ‘one flew over the cuckoos nest’. It was written in the late 1950’s and published in 1962. The publisher was Viking press. 96% of the people who had review the book on website ‘’ liked the book and gave it a 4.6 star rating. That is point 2 more stars then the first harry potter book that only got 4.4 stars. The element of the book that I will be exploring today is; the setting and cultural assumptions underpinning the novel. Representation of one character from the novel. An overview on the main issues presented in the text and the relevance to students. A connection of one major issue in relation to our 21st century contemporary world. And lastly the effects of the textual features of the texts, eg language, imagery, gaps and silences, visuals, and structural elements.

The book is based largely on Kesey’s experiences with mental patients. Through the conflict between nurse ratched and randle Patrick McMurphy, the novel explores the themes of individuality and rebellion against conformity. The story is narrated by “Chief” Bromden, a gigantic but docile half-Native American inmate, who is thought to be deaf and mute, but later on we relize he was faking so people wouldn’t bother him while serving out his prison sentence. The head administrative nurse, Mildred Ratched, rules the ward with little medical oversight and is assisted by her three black day-shift orderlies, and her assistant doctors. McMurphy constantly antagonizes Nurse Ratched and upsets the routines, leading to constant power struggles between the inmate and the nurse. He runs a card table, captains the ward’s basketball team, comments on Nurse Ratched’s figure, incites the other patients on the ward to conduct a vote on watching the World Series on television, and organizes an unsupervised deep sea fishing trip.

After failing to lift a heavy shower room control panel while trying to escape McMurphy comments “But at least I tried.” Which gives the men incentive to try to stand up for themselves, to do their best instead of allowing Nurse Ratched to take control of everything they do. One night, after bribing the night orderly, McMurphy breaks into the pharmacy and smuggles bottles of liquor and two prostitutes onto the ward. McMurphy persuades one of the women to seduce Billy Bibbit, who has had little experience with women, so that he can lose his virginity. Although McMurphy plans to escape before the morning shift arrives, he and the other patients fall asleep instead without cleaning up the mess and the staff finds the ward in complete disarray. Billy is threatened by nurse ratched that she will tell his mother of events that happened that night. Billy commits suicide after having an emotional breakdown and McMurphy is blamed and taken to get a lobotomy. Chief Bromden smothers McMurphy with a pillow in an act of mercy then escapes the institution by lifting the shower panel that McMurphy failed to do so.

As you can see this is not your regular novel, it has a deeper story line to it and is different to anything else so student wouldn’t be reading something that they might have already read.

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