Analysis Of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: The Life of a Gay Man in 1962 In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, the author writes a story about patients of a medical institution in the 1960s and the journey of the lives of a group of men who are considered to be crazy. In part I of the novel, McMurphy has a discussion with the patients of the institution and tries to convince them that they have to stand up to Nurse Ratched because she manipulates them. Afterwords, Dale Harding replies that they have to accept that they are vulnerable against her. For instance, Harding comments “We must learn to accept it as a law of the natural world. The rabbits accept their role in the ritual and recognize the wolf as the strong”(Kesey ). Harding …show more content…
Dale Harding stays in the institution for protection because he fears society due to his sexuality. Harding accepts that he is not normal and he can not go against “the wolf”. Harding describes this as the “law of the natural world”(Kesey ). However, should he accept that his sexuality is abnormal because of society’s “natural law”? Many individuals like Bradley Lewis writer of “Mad Flight” disagree with the characters saying that one must accept their roles because it is the “law of the natural world”. However, Bradley Lewis would agree with Ken Kesey on how the 1960’s was an awful time for gay men, and those who shared different beliefs. In following essay I will be analysing the following question: Why does Ken Kesey novel One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest portray how Dale Harding accepts society’s …show more content…
In part 1 of the novel, McMurphy starts talking about how Nurse Ratched is keeping them from their sexual desires and describes her as a “Ball cutter”. Harding then sarcastically states “Our dear Ratched? Our sweet, smiling, tender angel of mercy, Mother Ratched, a ball-cutter? Why friend, that’s most unlikely?” (pg 54). Afterwards, Harding loses control and he starts to speak really fast that no one can understand him. He then quiets downs and collapses his face to his hands and whispers “Oh the bitch, the bitch the bitch”. McMurphy then stares at him with a confused face, but then understands why he acted that way. Dale Harding represents a homosexual man in the 60s. Harding is voluntarily in the institution and has been in the hospital for a long time to shelter himself from society . In the 1960s majority of states in America had Sodomy laws which were laws that punished individuals who were punished for having anal or oral sex, this laws targeted gay men. Sodomy was seen as a“crime against nature” and was a felony in every state in America by 1962. One flew over the cuckoo's Nest was published in 1962, which is why Ken Kesey includes a gay men. The 1960s was a time were gay men were kept from their sexual desires, which is the reasons why Dale Harding loses control because just like society Nurse Ratched kept him from his sexual

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