One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest - Analytical Essay

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Analytical Essay – One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest.

Ken Kesey's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is a creation of the socio-cultural context of his time. Social and cultural values, attitudes and beliefs informed his invited reading of his text. Ken Kesey was a part of The Beat generation and many of their ideologies and the socio cultural context of U.S post WWII were evident through characters and various discourses throughout One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, giving us his invited reading. Ken Kesey is against conformity and societies oppressive rules under Eisenhower and he illustrates this by creating a character that is in constant conflict with Nurse Ratched and the Rules of the ward. In One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest, Ken Kesey uses McMurphy the protagonist as a symbol of freedom and individuality. He constantly shows McMurphy refusing to conform to oppressive dominant ideals of the time within the microcosm world of the mental asylum and through religious discourses in the book; Ken Kesey portrays McMurphy as a Christ like figure. Ken Kesey had a Christian upbringing and works with biblical inferences such as the fishing trip with McMurphy and 12 patients, which was an example of Jesus and his 12 disciples at the last supper. McMurphy challenges the rules from the time he arrives, from upsetting the supposedly democratic procedure of group therapy meetings to brushing his teeth out of the scheduled time. He tries to bring upon humanitarianism to the ward patients and believes everyone has a right to their own decisions which is juxtapose to The Beat’s ideologies. Although the consequences of individuality were much greater than conformity in the ward, patients began to stand up for their rights and tension had released within the ward as patients began to move around more frequently and the sound of laughter steadily increased throughout the novel showing the freedom McMurphy had created amongst the patients. Post WWII saw the rise of conformity among...
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