One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest Response to Literature

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Society is a judgmental and rejecting place. It only allows uniform individuals to be in this society which discards anyone’s individuality and pride. In the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, Nurse Ratched alienates the patients’ individualities which only allows them to never progress in their mental health. The society rejects the people who are not normal. In this case, the people are the ones with mental disorders. Kesey’s anti-establishment point of view against society portrays that the government misuses power to manipulate society which leads to the suppression of individuality through the literary devices analogy, metaphor, and symbolism.

Ken Kesey conveys his theme by vividly explaining the “pecking party”. As one of the treatments, Nurse Ratched holds group therapy for the patients. During the group therapy session, McMurphy notices that the Nurse ignites all the conflict at first so he explains, “The flock gets sight of a spot of blood on some chicken and they all go to peckin’ at it” (Kesey 57). McMurphy is trying to explain the abusiveness of Nurse Ratched’s power. This analogy supports Kesey’s message of how society rejects and leads to the suppression of individuals. Kesey uses the chickens to represent the patients and the “first peck” would represent Nurse Ratched because she manipulates an individual which causes uneasiness to the patient which will never be the cure for one who is mental to get better. After McMurphy goes on about the pecking party, he says one more thing to Harding about the pecking party, “You want to know who pecks that first peck?” (58). McMurphy’s rhetorical question signifies his opinion even more. This allows not only Harding, but the rest of the patients to see how Nurse Ratched is just another person and how they should not let her take complete control over them. Kesey furthers his analogy after the pecking party image because it reveals and justifies who really does “peck that first peck”....
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