By: Ken Kesey
Ken Kesey does a miraculous job in depicting the idea of an uprising in the safety of a mental institution. I also believe, as the author has portrayed, that it is practically impossible to define who is “sane” and who is “insane.”
McMurphy, although not technically “insane” by the institution’s perspective, used his leadership skills to find those under the control of the Big Nurse who were willing to take a stand. Chief was a prime example of the misconception of insanity. He was classified as a Chronic, thinking that he was essentially useless and dumb. Throughout the story however, he proves his intelligence and skill through working with McMurphey.
Some of the world’s most “insane” people are in fact some of the smartest people who have lived on this planet. Albert Einstein for example was a hopeless wreck throughout his educational career, yet he is one of the most famous scientists of all time due to his discoveries in the mathematical department. Noah in the Bible was also called insane for believing that there was to be a flood that would wipe out the earth. God proved that he was correct, unfortunately there were very few to celebrate this new found knowledge at the time.
One of the biggest misconceptions made by humans is the difference between insanity and brilliance. Chief was a great example from within the book “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” he was written off as an insane person, but ended up building enough self confidence to be the only person escape the institution and flee to the safety of Canada. It was this failure to recognize the difference between sanity and insanity that eventually lead to Nurse Ratchet’s downfall.