One Flew Over The Cuckoo\'s Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest We, being members of society do not have the
authority to judge whether people are sane or insane. Some may say that others
are insane but we are all a little bit crazy. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,
a novel written by Ken Kesey deals with these topics and is a well-written piece
of literature that will be enjoyed by generations to come. It will become a
timeless classic simply because of the great combination of the setting and the
characters and how they both support the themes found throughout the story. The
setting of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a backdrop which makes it easy
to see the wickedness of the world and people in general. The hospital, Dr.

Spivey says, "is a little world inside that is a made-to-scale prototype of
the big world outside." Most of the action in the novel takes place in a world
that is indeed limited and specific. It is but one ward of one hospital in

Oregon. The world of the Cuckoo’s Nest is in many ways a cartoon world that is
filled with colorful characters and laughs, in which good and evil are clearly
defined. Far from being a place of healing, the hospital is a place of fear
where patients do not laugh and fear the consequences of anything they speak of.

The setting of this novel allows the characters to develop freely and they are
even a little off the wall which is a good attribute that will be admired by
future readers. McMurphy teaches the rest of the patients how to be sane. Above
all, this sanity consists of the ability to laugh, to laugh both at your self
and at the world that is often ludicrous and cruel. Chief Bromden says, " He
knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in
balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy." As McMurphy is
strapped to the treatment table (shape of a cross), a parallel is drawn between
him and Christ, both sacrificed themselves for the good of others. His sole
reason for living has been the other patients’ need for him. His example has
given the patients enough courage to brave the outside world, but he returns
from a lobotomy a ruined man. One of the most important clues to the character
of Nurse Ratched is that her name rhymes with ratchet, which is a piece of
machinery. Nurse Ratched (whose name also carries the echoes of rat and
wretched), has transformed herself from a human being into a machine that
demands complete control and order of everyone. The Chief describes the nurse
as, a mechanism of terror, able to control the hospital with her "beams of
hate", which shows the Nurse as the embodiment of pure evil. She represents
forces that influence us all. The Nurse and her new patient (McMurphy) are in
every way opposed to each other; she demands control, while he seeks freedom.

She is the voice of common sense but McMurphy never lets rules or common sense
stand in the way of good fun. This ongoing conflict symbolizes the struggle
between good and evil. Our guide to the world of the Cuckoo’s Nest is the
towering Chief Bromden. The Chief’s seemingly random and irrational
hallucinations, confusing at first, gain clarity when we see they are carefully
organized to give us an understanding of the hospital we would never receive
from a traditional narrator. He has convinced everyone around him that he is
deaf and dumb, he tries to flee reality by thinking back to his happy childhood
but in moments of great stress, a dense fog engulfs him. He sees his father"shrink" in his mind, the diminishing is a literal and physical one, from a
proud Indian Chief to a man stripped of his name. The Chief has always possessed
his own reserves of courage; it just took McMurphy to remind him that he did.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is as much the Chief’s story as it is

McMurphy’s and it is only because of his final victory that we are able to
hear the story of the Cuckoo’s Nest at all. The hidden meanings and
representations of characters is definitely one of the reasons why this is such
a great book. Ken Kesey displays many themes in, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s

Nest, to help the reader gain a greater understanding of his