Insanity: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Keyse Essay

1744 Words 7 Pages
Insanity is a blurred line in the eyes of Ken Kesey. He reveals a hidden microcosm of mental illness, debauchery, and tyranny in his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The remarkable account of a con man’s ill-fated journey inside a psychiatric hospital exposes the horrors of troubling malpractices and mistreatments. Through a sane man’s time within a crazy man’s definition of a madhouse, there is exploration and insight for the consequences of submission and aberration from societal norm. While some of the novel’s concerns are now anachronous, some are more vital today than before. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a compelling tale that brings a warning of the results of an overly conformist and repressive institution.
As the
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Consequently, his peers, who have grown to view him as a leader and agent for their grievances against Nurse Ratched, become distraught when he stops petitioning for them. After the supposed suicide of one of the patients, McMurphy becomes aware that he has inadvertently turned into the rehabilitator of the Acute patients, and revives the rebellion with Bromden by violently fighting a nurse to defend a fellow patient. Both men are sentenced to electroshock therapy, which abates McMurphy’s enthusiasm more than he expresses. Still in good spirits, McMurphy sneaks a prostitute into the asylum at night and the patients drink and smoke marijuana. When Nurse Ratched finds the destruction the next morning, her punishments cause the suicide of another patient, McMurphy’s attempted strangulation of her, and his eventually lobotomy. When he returns from the procedure as a vegetable, the majority of patients elect to leave or be transferred to a different ward, Bromben suffocates McMurphy with a pillow and escapes by breaking a window.
Ken Kesey’s writing, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest published in 1962, is widely based on his experiences and exposure to drug use and mental illness. While studying creative writing at Stanford University, Kesey voluntarily became subject in the U.S. Army’s experimentation of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and mescalin. In his time of being a paid participant, he wrote about

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