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One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest: the Book and Movie

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Jacob Rosenthal
Ms. Miller
Great Works
25 April 2013 One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest: The Book and Movie
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest written by Ken Kesey portrays the different types of personalities that are come across at a mental ward. The moods depicted in the book are greatly different than those in the movie. It’s always essential to first read the novel before watching the movie. This is dire in order to keep the true foundation and meaning of the book. Sometimes the movie is completely different than the cook, just as in Cuckoo’s nest. The movie One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is completely different from the book. For example the book is from the point of view of the Chief and in the movie; the chief is barely even shown. The movie actually skips a lot of scenes, possibly altering the true meaning of the book.
Personally, I liked the book better than the movie. Although the book was confusing at certain points, for example when the chief would refer to the fog, it went into greater detail and was more interesting than the movie. The director changed the movie around for entertainment purposes rather than directly following all the events from the novel. The mood of the characters comparing the book and the movie differ. Each character is depicted in a different way in the movie setting a dissimilar temperament every scene.
There were a few major differences that I found between the book. As a whole, the book focused more on the power of women theme, and in the movie the only women that was frequently shown were Nurse Ratched and Candy. The book focuses on the marital issue of a ward member and also the issue between Billy and his mom. It has a general theme of power of women in the book, but not as much in the movie. There are other minor variances in the movie and book. For instance, there is no scene in the book where the patients play basketball, and they are shown playing basketball quite a bit. Also in the book, the fishing trip is pre-planned and McMurphy overcharges people for the cost of the fishing trip, and in the movie McMurphy is shown just stealing the bus and randomly taking the ward members to go fishing. In the book Cheswick drowns in the hospital pool, whereas in the movie he doesn’t drown at all. Also in the book after the fishing trip, McMurphy drives everyone from the ward to the house he lived in during adolescence and reveals that this was where he lost his virginity at the young age of 10, but in the movie this doesn’t even happen.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the book more than I did watching the movie, but as a whole I thought it was a great storyline. I appreciated the character base and thought there was a lot of hidden meaning behind the book. Although there were quite a few differences between the book and the movie, they still were entertaining and I liked both of them.

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