⚡ One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest: A Narrative Analysis

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One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest: A Narrative Analysis



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One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest Lecture 2

After working at a mental institution, Ken Kesey wrote this easily accessible novel, published in Set in an Oregon mental ward, the novel's centers on the battle between Randle McMurphy and Nurse Ratched, the former a rebellious, gregarious low-level convict who saw the ward as an easy way to serve his few months of prison time, the latter one of the most memorable and monstrous villains in all of literature.

The book's primary metaphor is that of the government as "The Combine," as it's called by the story's narrator "Chief" Bromden, as a mechanism for manipulating individuals and processes. Kesey personifies The Combine in Nurse Ratched, a hellhag who uses a bagful of disciplinary tactics, most so subtle that the mental patients can't see they're being controlled and some so heinous it's unimaginable they could be used as a punitive measure without some sort of due process e. The novel is, by turns, infuriating, intelligent and hilarious. View all 11 comments. Painful and heartbreaking to witness humanity's struggle to have a decent life while living within the boundaries others set for them. Not to be a rabbit, that is the ultimate goal!

Truer than ever Dec 20, Manny rated it really liked it Shelves: not-the-whole-truth. Like most people who grew up in the 60s, I loved this book and, even more, the film version with Jack Nicholson. In fact, I think it's the most coherent criticism I've ever seen of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , and does a wonderful job of subverting the message. Throughout mo Like most people who grew up in the 60s, I loved this book and, even more, the film version with Jack Nicholson. Throughout most of the movie, you are indeed tricked into seeing the world through Winona Ryder's eyes: she's a free spirit, who's been incarcerated in a mental hospital despite the fact that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her.

In fact, she's saner than everyone around her, especially the Nazi-like staff. But you know what? In the end, she makes a surprising discovery. She's out of control, and these appalling fascists are actually trying to help her. She'd somehow missed this important fact. Much as it pains me to say it, I suspect that Winona Ryder might be right and Jack Nicholson might be wrong. It's extremely disappointing.

View all 32 comments. Aug 23, K. Shelves: hospital-drama , time , core. The cuckoo, upon hatching, throws the other birds out of the nest out of instinct. Source: Wiki [image error] I was 11 years old when the movie by Milos Forman was shown. Jack Nicholson starred as Randle Patrick McMurphy , a criminal sentenced on a prison farm for statutory rape and transferred to an Oregon asylum because of his insanity plea. Both of which I saw also. Freaking, movie addict! The character of sane-yet-confined-in-the-mental-institution McMurphy is the first irony in the movie.

As he is sane, he fights against the wrong methods and stands up against Nurse Mildred Ratched aka Big Nurse who, being an obsessive compulsive lady, wants to have everything in order and done by the tick of the clock. Hers is the second irony in the story as, unlike the prison in say Shutter Island , there is no conventionally harsh kind of discipline here. The setting is also not as dark as the scary cells in The Silence of the Lambs. In fact, in this asylum, the patients watch the TV, play cards, roam in the basketball court and at one time they even go out for fishing! The rest of the story shows their constant power struggles as they try to outwit each other. The ending is tragic and almost feels like not the right ending because it does not offer any hint of resolution to the revealing message.

So, he, Ken Kesey knew and probably experienced some of these things. One can get lost in amazement reading book or watching movie McMurphy and Nurse Ratched especially with their Oscar-worthy performances. However, what makes this book different in a great way, is the narration. Nellie has a crush on Heathcliff or Edgar and the feeling tainted her actions as a housemaid and her story as narrator. Similarly, the Chief is unreliable because he is a schizophrenic but Kesey made use of this to come up with a strangely beautiful interesting narrative.

Come to think of it, had this been narrated in a straightforward manner, i. For its shocking revelation and its brilliant loony narrative, reading this book should send shivers down your spine… View all 27 comments. One of my favourites. Aug 19, J. I am happy to have changed that! I don't know why I didn't think about whose viewpoint the story was being told from when I watched the movie, but this perspective in the book added another dimension to a story I thought I knew well. Well-written and engaging.

View all 13 comments. Jul 09, Dr. Appu Sasidharan rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , medical-fiction-and-nonfiction. Throwback Review This novel tells us the story of despotic Nurse Ratched, who works in Oregon State mental hospital, and McMurphy, a patient who questions the rules imposed on the inmates by her in the hospital. It is considered one of the most controversial medical novels ever written and was banned multiple times for several reasons.

Multiple actresses turned down the role of Nurse Ratched when this novel was made into a movie. Everyone was scared to play her role as they were afraid Throwback Review This novel tells us the story of despotic Nurse Ratched, who works in Oregon State mental hospital, and McMurphy, a patient who questions the rules imposed on the inmates by her in the hospital. Everyone was scared to play her role as they were afraid that it would affect their image. It was ironic that Louisa Fletcher, who at last played the role, won the Academy Award for best actress along with her costar Jack Nicholson who won it for the best actor.

This book is, directly and indirectly, telling us a lot about healthcare problems during that time. It has a remarkable position in history as it changed the way Americans approached mental health. This is not a perfect book as there are many mistakes while the author tried to recreate a mental institution in the s. Still, the author's personal experience due to his job in a Psychiatric hospital helped him a lot in creating this novel. This is indubitably one of the best Medical novels I ever read. Its silver screen version is also one of the best movies I have ever seen. This renowned classic is a slow-paced read and an intense character study, set in the enclosed environment of a psychiatric hospital.

Nurse Ratched rules her ward with a tyranny and a close-scrutiny that has the patients bent to her will and fearful of any misstep they might make to upset her. That is until a new character joins their ranks and threatens to usurp Ratched's rule. In their fight for dominance the inhabitants of the ward begin to understand a little something about personal freedom This renowned classic is a slow-paced read and an intense character study, set in the enclosed environment of a psychiatric hospital.

In their fight for dominance the inhabitants of the ward begin to understand a little something about personal freedom and the part they have been entrusted to play in the well-oiled machine of the ward. The casual racism and the horrific treatment of the psychiatric patients was so hard to read about, but was a necessary evil in delivering the power inherent in this tale. Without the reader garnering a deep understanding about the horrors that abound on a psychiatrist ward and the norms that were accepted during this time period, this would not have remained such an influential, relevant and much-studied text. It was interesting that a perspective was garnered through the eyes of one of the patients.

This lent an untrustworthy air to the events relayed and the reader could not be certain of all they were told. This, as well as the philosophical nature of the text kept the reader an active participant of the story, as they had to work hard at untangling the narrative to get to the truth buried inside this series of anecdotes. Despite the subtle power in all aspects this tale, I enjoyed, on a baser level, some scenes more than others. Those that moved beyond the confines of the ward lost some of their interest, for me, despite how moving and educational they still remained. They became a little less compelling when action took a more central focus and character studies and societal insights were removed to the background. The ending, however, returned to the philosophical insights I earlier appreciated and I ended up really appreciating how this novel made me think about all the subject matters and events discussed in an entirely new light.

View all 22 comments. So, I re-read this book for my postwar fiction class. Read it first when I was 21, working at Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI as a psych aide, very shaped by it in many ways, I now realize in reading it some 40 years later. I think because how can I know for sure? I liked this book better this time than I did when I first read it. As I said, it shaped my view of myself, of institutions, of psych hospitals and psychiatry in general, of madness, of Society, of the need for Fre So, I re-read this book for my postwar fiction class. As I said, it shaped my view of myself, of institutions, of psych hospitals and psychiatry in general, of madness, of Society, of the need for Freedom, man, and the process of self-knowledge itself.

I think now it feels very much like a period piece, an experience of the late Beats to early hippie sixties, from On the Road with the Merry Pranksters to Woodstock, or to maybe something Kesey realized Woodstock would never deliver. It feels horrific and cartoonish and a little too easily separating the good from the bad for much of it, but then it changes very very quickly at the end spoiler alerts all over the place and becomes more sixties nightmare than romantic dream of peace and freedom. Yes, for me it was also reading as autobiography, as, like Randle in some respects, I also made a mess of my life and others leading from the joyful end of the sixties to the terrible end of the seventies. I think I may have cried at the end of the book when I completed it at 21, still romanticizing Randle McMurphy as a symbol of freedom, nature, and the visceral life I had not known as a young Calvinist going to church twice on Sundays.

He was wild, unbridled, laughed heartily, lived lustily, joked inappropriately, raged passionately, loved life; he was my Uncle Lee, my Dad's brother-in-law, who was unlike any of my family members, smoking 4 packs a day, drinking constantly, swearing hilariously, fighting with my Aunt Ag publicly, frighteningly. He picked the young me up when he saw me and sang, too loudly, "Davey, Davey Crockett, king of he wild frontier! I wanted his sense of freedom, as he drove truck all over the country. Now I read Randle as, yes, a symbol of Freedom and Nature and Laughter vs Ratched's sterile Institutional authority, but now not so innocent, as I realize I think about myself.

I read it with some self-reflective regret as he crashed and burned and hurt others as in some ways I crashed and burned for a few years there. I did and do come, too, to appreciate Randle for the good he tried to do even as so much bad happened because of and in spite of him. At first I thought this was a cartoon--Nurse Ratched is so evil as to not be believed are there any believably good women in this book? Ratched is Rat-shit, a ratchet wrench for cogs in a machine, monstrously Anti-woman, and then there are Candy and Sandy, the prostitutes.

In that sense, it feels like a very male, most definitely adolescent fantasy of "The Man" or Society, or the Adult World never trust anyone over 30! It's a romp of sorts, for much of the book, as Randle takes on the evil Big Nurse with an intent to destroy her in the name of fun and freedom. What is Society to the Beats and Hippies? Squareness, Order, 5, white picket fence suburban homes with 5, identically dressed suburban children playing on identically manicured lawns cue David Lynch's Vision of suburbia in Blue Velvet, opening sequences, here. And what does the straight life, the life of business and capitalism and science and technology lead to, as we recall in postwar America? To the Holocaust, to millions dead in countless wars, to suicidally unhappy rich people accumulating wealth beyond imagination, to the destruction of the Chief's Indian lands and culture for profit, trading Paradise for a Shopping Mall.

Why, they go on a road trip, as Randle does to go salmon fishing in the Sound with several lovable crazies from the psych hospital and Candy. Who's NOT in? Who doesn't want in his card game, his various challenges to authority why CAN'T they watch the World Series, damn it?! Rules, argh!!! To say no is to become a Vegetable or to be part of the Problem, a Cog in the Machine, dude! But the power struggle turns dark, at the end spoiler alert, I said!

Randle is not so innocent, no hippie freedom lover, he becomes violent and rapes and nearly kills Ratched, he is out of control with his freedom, no flower child, finally, and by the way, where did all the flowers go, finally? To Vietnam, to Wall Street, and for me to divorce and some lost years. But we have hope when the Chief is on the road, at the very end, after many years maybe able to live his life in the woods again, and in many ways, I took my chance to remake my life as well.

I have my kids and loving wife and picket fence, with humble thanks that I am still here and able to still learn and still try to some good in the world if I can. But I was talking about Kesey's book, wasn't I? Well, I really liked this book, second time around. I liked the sketches in this edition from Kesey himself, the cover pages done by Joe Sacco, the preface on the sixties from Kesey, the introduction on madness and psychology seen through a sixties lens… all very good. The images of the psych hospital early on were horrific, then there were an increasing number of darkly hilarious and often insightful episodes about institutional control that seem to be still relevant even if still comically exaggerated today, and finally the comedy turns amazingly and effectively to tragedy, though in the coda we are again a little hopeful that a return with Chief Broom to the Garden or, the Rez, in this case and Music and Art and Nature may still offer us some possibilities.

Jun 13, Ann rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: anyone. Shelves: justdamngood , good-bad-guys-bad-good-guys , literatureandfilm. This is one of the most fantastic novels of individualism pitted against the vast depersonalization of industrial society ever written. Ken Kesey has an extraordinary grasp of the challenges faced by us all in modern civilization, and he is able to convey his ideas through some of the richest imagery I have ever read. My favorite line in the novel, when Chief Bromden the paranoid schizophrenic narrator says, "But it's the truth, even if it didn't happen," sets the reader up from the very begin This is one of the most fantastic novels of individualism pitted against the vast depersonalization of industrial society ever written.

My favorite line in the novel, when Chief Bromden the paranoid schizophrenic narrator says, "But it's the truth, even if it didn't happen," sets the reader up from the very beginning for a story in which one's perception of situations more accurately reflects the truth than the outward appearance of things. The story can be a bit confusing to follow at times, given that the narrator is a paranoid schizophrenic and it is often difficult to differentiate between reality and his hallucinations- but at the same time, his hallucinations sometimes more accurately reflect reality than reality itself.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone- I have read and taught it many times, and it always provides new insights and revelations. Also, the film starring Jack Nicholson is well worth seeing- it won many Academy Awards when it came out, but diverges quite a bit from a lot of the themes of the book. One of the coolest things about the book is that it is told from the point of view of a paranoid schizophrenic; to do this in a film would be incredibly challenging and more likely to turn out cheesy than insightful and revealing as it is in the novel. View all 12 comments. Feb 10, Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing. I thought this was one of the best books I had ever read years ago.

I went to see the stage play in S. View all 17 comments. Shelves: emotionally-intense , not-for-me , classic , psycho , overrated-books. Really unpopular opinion coming your way. Escape while you can. Does the rabbit live in a hole because the wolf decided so? What happens when the rabbit decides to challenge the wolf? Such thoughts are provoked by this widely read and loved classic novel. The messages buried in an unexpected setting a mental institution re Really unpopular opinion coming your way. The messages buried in an unexpected setting a mental institution revealing the grim aspects of such an institution , striking metaphors and symbolism which I detected early on in the first part of the story, the part I genuinely enjoyed.

Meeting Mc Murphy the rabbit that challenged the wolf felt like listening to the wisest philosophy teacher explaining juicy stuff about life with expertise, wit and charm and reading the story in the perspective of Chief Bromden, a patient feigning deafness made it even more interesting. It's clear to me why several of my friends loved the novel. Let me link you to their excellent reviews: Partheeey's , Nina's and Ate Shelby's. Unfortunately, the significant themes of the novel for me were overwhelmed by the strong sexist and racist undertones until the actual meanings of the story got lost behind the chauvinistic approach.

The demoralizing climax added insult to injury and ultimately the reason I went for two stars. It would have been just a star if not for the redeeming although really depressing conclusion answering the most important of the above questions. I should have just read Harry Potter 2. View all 48 comments. Whilst, Ken Kesey's work is classified as a classic - it definitely does in no way correlate to that of Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. It was vulgar and uncomfortable and, definitely, controversial at the time of its publishing - but, man, was it a complex, mind-numbing, page-turne 4.

It was vulgar and uncomfortable and, definitely, controversial at the time of its publishing - but, man, was it a complex, mind-numbing, page-turner of a story, questioning freedom and confinement in our society, and set in an psychiatric hospital - a setting often neglected in literature. This was truly a great, great book, that I recommend. Forget perfect characters, sunny settings, and 'kind sir's and ma'ams'; this story was packed to the brim with complications, grit and a strange mixture of humor and darkness, with an ending that will leave you Brillant, and thought provoking, this was a knock out of a book.

Everyone knows the story, right? McMurphy escapes a prison farm sentence by pretending to be mentally ill; he imagines a stay at a mental ward will be much easier than hard labour. Oh, Miss Ratched. What a name. It suggests hatchet, ratchet, wretched, rat shed, rat shit… none of them very complimentary. And this hateful portrait of castrating female authority is a large part of it. The other is that the only other main female characters are prostitutes. And the way the Chief's life is affected by RPM think of those initials, by the way, and what they suggest - something continually in motion is quite moving. The System book. The book was published in , just before massive changes in the U.

In a way Kesey predicted the big social revolution to come. He laces his fingers over his belly without taking his thumbs out of his pockets. I see how big and beat up his hands are. Everybody on the ward, patients, staff, and all, is stunned dumb by him and his laughing. This is very effective writing. I love the detail about McMurphy having his thumbs in his pockets but lacing his fingers over his belly. And the description of the laugh that lingers like a just rung bell is just perfect. Is that how the Chief sees them?

And what sex acts are these? Are they hallucination? Planning to escape? Whether he can beat the Big Nurse in the end? The last pages race by. The end. You knew it was coming, right? Just the perfect ending to a justly famous book. Shelves: mental-health , books , makes-you-think , contemporary , buddy-reads. McMurphy " Though it was such a long time ago, I can't pretend to remember a lot about it. Vague scenes flash through my mind: the maniacal grin of Jack Nicholson's character, the quiet grace of the giant Indian chief who at some point loses it, the absolute menace of the nurse. When Ron suggested "I never been in a Institute of Psychology before. When Ron suggested this as a buddy read with Dawn, I was keen.

It's one of those things where I wonder why I've never read a certain book before, especially one most certainly considered a "classic". And a cult classic at that. This book is set in the psychiatric ward of a hospital. Our narrator is Chief Bromden aka "Broom" or "Chief". Six foot seven of solid, brooding silence. And hears far more than they know. The first haven't been broken yet and can still be "saved"; there is a chance they will once again rejoin the big wide world. The second are lifers, who are long since broken and society has forsaken; they ain't going nowhere.

Then there are the sub-categories. The Wheelers, the Walkers, the Vegetables. You get the idea. Each man has his place. Each man knows his place. Enter one Randall Patrick McMurphy. Boisterous, vital, cracking jokes, full of life, full of himself. Into this sterile world of disinfectant and mysterious therapy rooms, McMurphy is like a breath of fresh air. Like the windows being flung wide open in a house that's been locked up for too long. She is the mistress of her domain, make no mistake. And she doesn't appreciate anyone rocking the boat. McMurphy is a riot of colours and emotions. Ratched is cold hard steel. Fire meets ice.

McMurphy has ended up in this institution by feigning mental illness to avoid working on a prison farm. His logic being he'd be fed three square meals a day and have " But the ending As the story progresses, we see into Chief Broom's mind. We see flashbacks of the platoon he served in. We see his Daddy, an Indian Chief living on a reserve. And the fog Which is preferable to seeing it clearly. That is until McMurphy arrives to chase the fog away. Which begs the question, how much of Chief's narrative is true? Or a blend of the two? F9: The Fast Saga [Blu-ray]. Black Widow Feature Bilingual. F9: The Fast Saga. Top rated See more. Yellowstone: The First Three Seasons. Chicago P. Sing Bilingual.

Hot new releases See more. Snake Eyes: G. Joe Origins [Blu-ray]. Breakdown [Blu-ray]. Chicago Fire: Season 5. Cruella Feature [Blu-ray] Bilingual. Cartoon Network: Over the Garden Wall. The novel is a direct product of Kesey's time working the graveyard shift as an orderly at a mental health facility in Menlo Park, California. He advocated for drug use as a path to individual freedom, [12] an attitude that was reflected in the views of psychological researchers of the time.

Each individual's experiences were said to vary; emotions and experiences ranged from transformations into other life forms, religious experiences, and extreme empathy. The novel constantly refers to different authorities that control individuals through subtle and coercive methods. The novel's narrator, the Chief, combines these authorities in his mind, calling them "The Combine" in reference to the mechanistic way they manipulate and process individuals. The authority of The Combine is most often personified in the character of Nurse Ratched who controls the inhabitants of the novel's mental ward through a combination of rewards and subtle shame. This is because the subtlety of her actions prevents her prisoners from understanding they are being controlled at all.

The Chief also sees the Combine in the damming of the wild Columbia River at Celilo Falls , where his Native American ancestors hunted, and in the broader conformity of post-war American consumer society. The novel's critique of the mental ward as an instrument of oppression comparable to the prison mirrored many of the claims that French intellectual Michel Foucault was making at the same time. Similarly, Foucault argued that invisible forms of discipline oppressed individuals on a broad societal scale, encouraging them to censor aspects of themselves and their actions.

The novel also criticizes the emasculation of men in society, particularly in the character of Billy Bibbit, the stuttering Acute patient who is domineered by both Nurse Ratched and his mother. Central elements of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest embody Erving Goffman's sociological analysis of total institutions, particularly the analytical subset of mental hospitals. Goffman's description of admission procedures in total institutions, for example, reflects the notion of "the combine" espoused by Chief Bromden's character: "Admission procedures might be called 'trimming' or 'programming' because, in thus being squared away, the new arrival allows himself to be shaped and coded into an object that can be fed into the administrative machinery, to be worked on smoothly by routine operations" [16] p.

Further, the behavior of the patients in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest represent the range of adaptations to total institutions delineated in section VI of "The Inmate World" in the essay, "Characteristics of Total Institutions. Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn, Apple seed and apple thorn, Wire, briar, limber lock Three geese in a flock One flew East One flew West And one flew over the cuckoo's nest. Chief Bromden's grandmother sang a version of this song to him when he was a child, a fact revealed in the story when the Chief received yet another ECT treatment after he assisted McMurphy with defending George, a patient being abused by the ward's aides.

The acutes are patients who officials believe can still be cured. With few exceptions, they are there voluntarily, a fact that angers McMurphy when he first learns of it, then later causes him to feel further pity for the patients, thus further inspiring him to prove to them they can still be strong despite their seeming willingness to be weak. The chronics are patients who will never be cured. The novel was adapted into a play , starring Kirk Douglas who purchased the rights to produce it for the stage and motion pictures as McMurphy and Gene Wilder as Billy Bibbit.

A film adaptation , starring Jack Nicholson , and co-produced by Michael Douglas was released in The film won five Academy Awards. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Novels portal United States portal s portal. Archived from the original on August 1, Retrieved June 15, The Encyclopedia of Sixties Cool. Santa Monica Press. ISBN Psychiatric Times.

Into The Wild Book Analysis was scared One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest: A Narrative Analysis play her role as they were afraid Throwback Review This One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest: A Narrative Analysis tells us the story of despotic Nurse Ratched, who works in Oregon State mental hospital, tet offensive date McMurphy, a Laws In William Goldings Lord Of The Flies who questions the rules imposed on the inmates by her in the hospital. Trinity says:. One One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest: A Narrative Analysis her sisterhood lugged me squealing into life. I've been hoping to see The Artist, but I haven't seen it yet and I'm running One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest: A Narrative Analysis of time. But in that statement, it didn't seem like McMurphy hated her for her sheer bitchiness; he hated her because she One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest: A Narrative Analysis a woman with more power than him, as evidenced by McMurphy's attack. Into the ineluctable modality of the ineluctable visuality.