One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest: Mcmurphy
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: McMurphyOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, with its meaningful message ofindividualism, was an extremely influential novel during the 1960's. Inaddition, its author, Ken Kesey, played a significant role in the development ofthe counterculture of the 60's; this included all people who did not conform tosociety's standards, experimented in drugs, and just lived their lives in anunconventional manner. Ken Kesey had many significant experiences that enabledhim to create One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. As a result of his entrance intothe
creative writing program at Stanford University in 1959 (Ken 1), Kesey movedto Perry Lane in Menlo Park. It was there that he and other writers firstexperimented with psychedelic drugs. After living at Perry Lane for a while, Kesey's friend, Vik Lovell, informed him about experiments at a local V. A.hospital in which volunteers were paid to take mind-altering drugs (Wolfe 321).Kesey's experiences at the hospital were his first step towards writing Cuckoo'sNest. Upon testing the effects of the then little-known drug, LSD, '..he was ina realm of consciousness he had never dreamed of before and it was not a dreamor delirium but part of his awareness (322).' This awareness caused him tobelieve that these psychedelic drugs could enable him to see things the way theywere truly meant to be seen. After working as a test subject for the hospital, Kesey was able to get ajob working as a psychiatric aide.
This was the next significant factor inwriting the book. 'Sometimes he would go to work high on acid (LSD) (323).' Bydoing so, he was able to understand the pain felt by the patients on the ward. In addition, the job allowed him to examine everything that went on within theconfines of the hospital. From these things, Kesey obtained exceptional insightfor writing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. To make the novel seem asrealistic as possible, he loosely based the characters on the personalities ofpeople in the ward; also, his use of drugs while writing allowed him to makescenes such as Chief Bromden's (The Chief is the narrator of the story. He is aNative American who happens to be a paranoid schizophrenic.) dreams much morevivid (Ken 2)
As mentioned in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, '..certainpassages 3/4 like Chief Broom [Chief Bromden] in his schizophrenic fogs 3/4 [it] wastrue vision, a little of what you could see if you opened the doors ofperception, friends (Wolfe 328).Ken Kesey's altered mental state while he wrote Cuckoo's Nest is what trulymakes it unique. The novel's message of rebelling against authority was veryinfluential to the counterculture generation of the 1960's. Kesey and hiswriting became a key factor in a decade filled with drugs and anti-establishmentfeelings. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest takes place in a mental hospital in whichthe patients' individuality is suppressed by the head nurse, Nurse Ratched. When a sane con-man (Randle P. McMurphy) has himself committed to avoid a prisonsentence, the machine-like order that had previously existed on the ward isimmediately challenged. Initially, McMurphy is a very selfish man whose onlydesire is to cause problems for authority figures, Nurse Ratched in particular, and to make life for himself as easy as possible.
Eventually, this all changesas the battle between himself and Nurse Ratched becomes their battle for thesouls of the inmates. McMurphy's struggle to 'free' the other inmates is adifficult one, ultimately resulting in his own destruction; however, through hisdeath, the other patients are able to realize their own sense of self and theyescape the ward. Although McMurphy works to save all the inmates, theschizophrenic, Chief Bromden, is the main target of his attentions. The Chiefis the largest, most powerful man on the ward, but is made to feel weak andinferior by staying there. Upon realizing his own value at the end of the novel, Chief Bromden participates in the mercy killing of McMurphy which allows for hisown complete liberation, as well as that of the other patients. Entering the mental hospital a sane man, R. P.
McMurphy only looks outfor himself; however, this all changes when he realizes the permanence of hisresidency on the ward if he does not conform. This motivates him to beginworking to save the other inmates on the ward and transfer some of his highspirit into them. His struggle to help them realize their individuality resultsin his own mental decay and he is ultimately destroyed. In order to make himself as comfortable as possible, McMurphy initiallytries to defy authority and gain the inmates' trust for his own personal gain. He is immediately a threat to the order that Nurse Ratched has created andmaintains. While there is not supposed to be gambling on the ward, one ofMcMurphy's first goals is to get the other patients to play cards with him formoney. This is expressed when McMurphy says '..I came to this establishment..tobring you birds fun an' entertainment around the gamin' table (Ken 12).'Another way that he is able to disrupt the hospital's order is through his boldlaughter.
This is very disturbing because no one ever laughs in the mentalhospital. The inmates are controlled and mechanized; the laughter suggestspersonality, which would break down this order. According to Chief Bromden, hehad not hear a laugh in years (11). McMurphy makes it obvious right away thathe has no intention of letting the hospital's machine-like order consume hisidentity. As a result off his rambunctious behavior, the inevitable battle betweenMcMurphy and Nurse Ratched begins.
During group therapy meetings, McMurphy doesnot let Nurse Ratched have complete control as she has had in the past and asshe would like to continue. He disrupts the meetings by provoking the otherpatients to excitement when they make comments about their respective problems. It also infuriates Nurse Ratched when McMurphy diverts the attention directed atother patients towards himself. Also, one particular scene displaying thebeginning of the battle between Nurse Ratched and McMurphy occurs when McMurphywants to watch the World Series. He convinces the inmates to resist NurseRatched by watching a blank TV screen, even when she turns off the World Series(140). The things that McMurphy does early in the novel to battle Nurse Ratchedare selfish and have the intention of being chaotic. Eventually, this all begins to change as McMurphy begins his struggle tohelp save the other inmates.
He begins to conform slightly when he recognizesthe power that Nurse Ratched wields; he learns that he cannot be dismissed fromthe hospital without Nurse Ratched saying he has been cured. However, the otherinmates are not satisfied; they want him to lead a rebellion. McMurphy'srebellious nature goes from that of self-interest to that of devotion to helpingthe other inmates find their
freedom and individuality. By doing so, he alsosees a means of escape for himself. The first display of his new strategy fordefying authority occurs on the fishing trip that the inmates take. This trip, which is organized by McMurphy, helps the inmates realize that they can act forthemselves and returns to them some sense of self-respect. Another example ofMcMurphy's change from a nuisance to a savior is how he and the Chief resistNurse Ratched in the disturbed ward (a section of the hospital for thosepatients who are considered the most insane or dangerous).
Trying to evoke anapology from McMurphy and Chief Bromden for keeping another patient from havingan enema, Nurse Ratched fails and angrily sends the two men to have electro-shock therapy. Although McMurphy is weakened by this, the Chief takes his firststep towards being cured by telling the other patients of McMurphy's heroics(277). This is the first time that he has ever talked to anyone other thanMcMurphy. In an obvious response to McMurphy's devotion to him, the Chiefstarts to realize his true self. In the end, McMurphy's struggle leads to his destruction; however, he stillbecomes the inmates' savior. By finding McMurphy's weakness, which is hisuncontrollable urge to always trick the other inmates out of their money, NurseRatched is able to defeat him.
This is evident when McMurphy tricks the othermen into not believing that the Chief could lift the control panel. As a resultof this unfair bet, McMurphy wins money from the other men, but loses much oftheir faith in him (256-257). However, McMurphy eventually regains their trustand the inmates join him in the big party on the ward. Because the partyinvolves breaking hospital rules, the inmates are forced into a situation inwhich they will have to defend themselves. This is McMurphy's final attempt atleading the inmates to their freedom.
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Oneflewover the cuckoos nest One flew over the Cuckoo's nest, by Ken Kesey, is about patients and doctors in a mental institution. The author talks a lot about what goes on in this institute. The main points in this book deal with control, be it the character of McMurphy who is unable to handle control, or Nurse Ratched the One flew over the cuckoos nest Kesey’s characterization of women is by no means fair. He perceives one type to be the bossy domineering woman, and the other type to be submissive whores. He is subjective to the inmates being futile, perceiving us to think that their wives and especially Big “Powerful” Nurse took away their manliness. Kesey tries to imply Cause of his death Written by: Chenkayan (activate_the_wood@hotmail. com)
The role of the hero in Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, is played by Randle P. McMurphy, a wrongly committed mental patient with a lust for life. McMurphy’s personal qualities that gain the respect and admiration from his fellow patients are also responsible for his tragic downfall. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" and Female Importance Until modern times, society validated that a man's role was at work, while a woman was required to stay home and play the role of the main caregiver. Men were given power and authority, and women, contradictory to men, were expected to be humble and subservient. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Does mcmurphy transfer his individualistic spirit into that o One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, with its meaningful message of individualism, was an extremely influential novel during the 1960's. In addition, its author, Ken Kesey, played a significant role in the development of the counterculture of the 60's; this included all people who did not