One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Powerful Essays
3 May 2011
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest In the novel, “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” by Ken Kesey, the book has a lot of meaning, symbolism, and imagery. This book has been criticized by many around the country and has even been considered to be banned in high schools nationwide. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is seen as obscene, racist, immoral, and sexist to some eyes. It does have some bizarre language, and some obscene scenes, but every great literature attempts to give an accurate picture of some part of the human condition, which is less than perfect. (Sutherland 42) Being in a mental hospital, there are going to be some language that may be offensive and there also will be situations there that are a little obscene. Kesey’s book is set in a mental hospital; the language, attributes, and habits of the inmates are typical of disturbed men whose already distorted world is being further systematically dehumanized by the ward nurse. (Sutherland 42) People need to look past the racist language of the inmates or the non-appropriate behavior the mental patients are exposing and need to see the story in reality. The book wouldn’t be a good book if there wasn’t any misbehavior going on inside the hospital. These things happen in there. There is nothing Kesey can do to make everyone enjoy this book, but it is certainly one worth reading. Ken Kesey (1935-2001) was born on September 17, 1935 in La Junta, Colorado where he was raised on farms in Colorado and Oregon. At the University of Oregon, he participated in wrestling and track. On graduating he won a scholarship to Stanford. Kesey soon dropped out, joined the counterculture movement, and soon began experimenting with drugs. In 1956 he married his high school sweetheart, Faye Haxby and had three children together. In 1959 he volunteered to be a subject in experiments with hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and other psychotropic drugs, which were legal at the time. Kesey got paid 20



Cited: Reott, Jason. KEN KESEY Biography - Writers. . 3 May. 2011 <http://www.findbiography.org/writers/ken-kesey>. Lone Star College-Kingwood Library. One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest by Ken Kesey. . 1 May. 2011 <http://www.lonestar.edu/library/kin_cuckoosnest.htm>. Liukkonen, Petri. Ken (Elton) Kesey (1935-2001). . 4 May. 2011 <http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/kkesey.htm>. Oregon Hustorical Society. Ken Kesey Biography. . 4 May, 2011 <ohs.org/.ken-kesey.cfm>. Sutherland, Janet. Defending a Controversial Book. : National Council of Teachers of English, 1972. Boyd, George. McMurphy as Christ Figure. New York: Theology Today, 1972. Boardman, Michael. McMurphy as Tragic Hero. : Journal of Narrative Technique, 1979. Madden, Fred. Big Chief as Narrator and Executioner. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue Research Foundation, 1986. Wallace, Ronald. Comedy in Cucko 's Nest. : Curators of the University of Missouri, 1979.

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