One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest

This essay has a total of 1034 words and 4 pages.

One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest

Jeff Saccone 12/16 Per. 4 Cuckoo The value of experience plays a major role in the poem
The Waking by, Roethke and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by, Kesey. Both portray a
similar message, which seems to suggest that in life you must learn to live by gaining
different experiences, which contribute to making you the person that you are. The quote
"I learn by going where I go" from The Waking would be the same philosophy that McMurphy
used in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to teach the ward members how to live on their own
and gain a sense of individuality. You can not shy away from things or go through life
doing the same things over and over again or you become a machine incapable of making your
own decisions. In The Waking the author tells of how you must ask questions about things
you don't know and you must learn things by actually venturing into the unknown to gain
new knowledge. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, McMurphy tries to make the patients
believe in themselves and not have to go by the strict rules of the nurse. By allowing
them to learn to help themselves he in a sense opens each inmate to a new world in which
they can succeed and therefore they do not need to be sheltered from society. He tries to
let them gain new experiences and even if they are not successful ones they still learn
something and gain confidence and individuality. In The Waking the poem can be compared to
an a patient in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest before McMurphy got a chance to teach the
patients about experience. I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow describes how the
inmates would wake up only to go through a planned out schedule that they didn't have to
think about at all. So in waking they were basically asleep and just moving slowly through
life with no purpose. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear shows how the patients believed
they should go through their lives without feeling fear at all, which means never trying
new things or gaining new experiences. I learn by going where I have to go, though
seemingly optimistic still suggests by the words, "have to" that, like the patients, this
person learns things about life by being forced to go places and not making his own
decisions. The line, "What falls away is always. And is near" can be fitted to the
patients beliefs that when things happen they always happen that way and can not be
changed or happen differently in any way. The poem and the patients alike give you a sense
of conformity and dullness, but there is a hint of hope and optimism in both as well. In
the poem two questions are asked, the first being what is there to know and the second
being who can tell us how. These questions show that the door is still open to for someone
to come in and answer these questions and therefore change this person's outlook on life.
In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest this person is McMurphy. He came into the ward with a
cocky swagger and the patients on the ward looked at him like a misfit of their strictly
set society. McMurphy automatically wages war on the nurse and the strict guidelines for
living that she has instituted in the ward. McMurphy questions why the inmates must brush
their teeth at a specific time and when he gets an unsatisfactory answer he uses soap
powder to brush his teeth instead of toothpaste, which is locked away. With this act he
sent a message to the patients. He questioned authority and the patients began to realize
that there was more to life than what they knew from the ward. McMurphy really made them
understand what learning from experience meant when he tries to lift a huge control panel
even though he knows he can't. He shows the patients that even if you fail you still gain
experience from what you have done and that is what truly makes you a person. Once the men
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