Ken Kesey 's One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest Essay

2104 Words Mar 30th, 2016 9 Pages
The wrench is a useful tool used for a variety of different tasks, like tightening nuts and bolts. Without it, nuts and bolts everywhere would be falling out of place, and people everywhere would go “nuts” trying to reassemble desks and reattach the tires onto their cars. In Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, people do in fact “go nuts,” and wrenches are indeed used, but not in the exact same ways. Randle McMurphy, the main character of this novel, frequently causes mishap in the insane asylum he lives in, causing him to go “nuts”; he constantly messes with its orderly and mechanical schedule. In other words, in Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Mr. McMurphy is the wrench in the machine that is the mental hospital.
Growing up, Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest, worked on a dairy farm in Oregon, similar to his protagonist Randle McMurphy, and continued to live there for the majority of his life. During this time Kesey met the famous Neal Cassady, a character from the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Charters 2, 3, 4). McMurphy coincidentally possesses many of the same characteristics as Kerouac, like being a con man and nonconformist and serving time in jail (Kesey 11 and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” 8). In late 1959, Kesey worked night shifts at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Menlo Park. Informed by a close friend of his, Kesey discovered the hospital would pay him to be the subject of various “psychomimetic” drugs…

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