One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest Term Paper

This essay has a total of 884 words and 4 pages.


One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest





One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Written by Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was published in 1967 by
Penguin Books. This story was written based on the author’s experience while
working in a mental institution. He held long conversations with the inmates in order to
gain a better understanding of them. It was during this period that he wrote the first
draft of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Most of the characters in the novel are
based upon actual patients he met while working at the hospital.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is set in a mental hospital in Oregon. The novel is
divided into four parts. Parts One, Two and Four are set in the hospital itself. In Part
Three, the patients from the hospital go on a deep-sea fishing trip, and the setting is
the boat. Except for a few outsiders, the characters are either patients or employees of
the hospital. Kesey has drawn from his own experience to give the reader an insider's view
of the hospital.

The novel starts with the admission of Randle P. McMurphy to the Hospital. As he
introduces himself to the other patients, the “head nurse”, Nurse Ratched
immediately decided he is a troublemaker. Even though everyone else is afraid of the
nurse, everyone that is except for McMurphy. He tires to make as much commotion as he
can. He sings when he’s not supposed to, asks for things when it’s not time
to, and appears half-naked, which really flusters the nurse. When a staff meeting comes
up, the doctors diagnose McMurphy with everything from latent homosexuality to
schizophrenia. Nurse Ratched, however, disagrees. She believes him to be an ordinary man
and that he will eventually settle down. Nonetheless, McMurphy continues to do all he can
to annoy her. Throughtout the story, the two battle against each other, seeing who will
give in to who first. Everything is rather harmless until and inmates party rolls around.
McMurphy smuggles in prostitutes to help out the inmate, Billy. When the nurse found out
what had been going on she was furious. Billy ended up slitting his throat and bleeding to
death. McMurphy was in real trouble with the nurse this time. To retaliate he tore open
Nurse Ratched uniform. As a result, McMurphy is taken away and give a lobotomy. When he
returns, he has been changed into a vegetable. His Indian friend known as Chief
Bromdencannot bear to see his friend in such a state, and ends up smothering him to death
to save him from such a miserable existence. However, he escapes to freedom after that.
Ironically, dead Mcmurphy had given this man a new life.

McMurphy is a gambling Irishman and convict, who grows tired of laboring at the Pendleton
prison farm. To escape prison life, he feigns insanity and gets himself involuntarily
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