Essay on Alan Kesey 's One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest

1213 Words Sep 18th, 2014 5 Pages
(In)sanity in One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest
What exactly is sanity? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, sanity is "the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner; sound mental health." However, when reading this definition, one must think. What, or to be more exact, who, defines what is typical and what is not? What one perceives as being abnormal and crazy may seem normal to another and vice versa. Why exactly do some people consider some behavior and actions to be abnormal while others deem them rational? It also seems that society is very quick to shun anyone different and very willing to accept those same people when they change themselves to become the same thing as everyone else: boring, mindless robots controlled by a greater power composed of a few who want the world to be under their control. Ken Kesey, author of the acclaimed novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest, examines these thoughts and questions about sanity and madness with different characters from his novel.
During the time period of the 1960’s and for years after, people were often considered insane or abnormal when they were different. Kesey shows this idea of madness with the characters of Randle McMurphy, Chief Bromden, and Dale Harding. McMurphy is described as a rowdy, lively, lustful gambler who enjoys taking risks in life. On his report, it is said that he had “‘repeated outbreaks of passion that suggest the possible diagnosis of psychopath.’” McMurphy liked to have…

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