Ken Kesey Research Paper

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  • Topic: Ken Kesey, Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants, Wallace Stegner
  • Pages : 2 (740 words )
  • Download(s) : 671
  • Published : February 3, 2011
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When writing a story, an author uses themes and elements which are related to his life. Many of Kenneth Elton Kesey’s novels including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest sustain messages which can be interpreted by discovering his life events. Ken Elton Kesey was born 1935 in La Junta, Colorado and lived with his parents Frederick Kesey and Geneva Smith. Ken moved to Springfield, Oregon where he spent his early years hunting, fishing, and swimming. In his teenage years, Ken spent his time wrestling in both high school and college. In 1956, while attending college at the University of Oregon Kesey fell in love with his high-school sweetheart, Norma Faye Haxby, whom he had met in seventh grade. Ken and Norma then had three children: Jed, Zane, and Shannon. Later, Kesey had another child named Sunshine with a woman named Carolyn Adams. Kesey attended the University of Oregon's School of Journalism, where he received a degree in speech and communication in 1957. He was awarded a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship in 1958 to enroll in the creative writing program at Stanford University, which he did the following year. While at Stanford, he studied under Wallace Stegner and begun his project which would later be known as One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In 1959, Kesey volunteered to take part in a CIA-financed study. The project studied the effects of psychoactive drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, cocaine, AMT, and DMT, on people. This most likely influenced Kesey to write about a psychiatric environment in his story One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Also inspiring to Kesey’s works were his night shifts at the Menlo Park Veteran’s Hospital. There, Kesey often spent time talking to patients which were under the control of hallucinogenic drugs. Kesey believed that “the patients were not insane rather that society had pushed them out because they did not fit conventional ideas of how people were supposed to act and behave.” (Cliffsnotes Art. 2) Kesey proves how...
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