One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

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The harsh reality of the truth can sometimes be a rude realization. This theory is exemplified in Ken Kesey's best selling novel, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. Published in 1962, the novel presents controversial subject matter and themes such as sexuality, violence, and criminal activity as the reader explores the sterile, yet quite dirty, environment of a mental institution and all of its inhabitants. Due to speculation and harsh criticism of concerned and outraged parents, there have been various occurrences of the banning of Cuckoo's Nest due to the “pornographic” scenes, profane language, and the “glorification” of crimes and violence. The light cast upon the “displeasing” diction, as well as the mature events that one may view as inappropriate and offensive, is substantially overshadowed by Kesey's literary merit and valuable insight into the harsh and uncensored tendencies of the real world. The explicit content of Cuckoo's Nest provides the reader with a valuable and important learning experience into the uncensored world of literature and reality, which students should not be deprived of, rather prepared for, despite whether or not an individual is offended, as well as offering truth and insight. An important and valuable lesson offered in the text and underlying themes in Cuckoo’s Nest is the concept of, despite controlling and oppressive circumstances, to maintain one’s self and true identity. Upon the banning of this novel, students are deprived of this lesson that is the ultimate result of the underhanded method of control demonstrated by Nurse Ratched. “That ain't me, that ain't my face. It wasn't even me when I was trying to be that face. I wasn't even really me then; I was just being the way I looked, the way people wanted.” The unlikely hero of criminal Randall McMurphy constitutes the theme of good versus evil, as his boisterous and excessively confident attitude not only challenges the authority of Nurse Ratched, but also restores hope,...
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