One That Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Literary Analysis

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The literary classic, One That Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey serves as tool of enlightenment on the issue of individuals being oppressed by higher powers of society. The book was written in 1959, and published three years later in 1962. This frame of reference coincides with the Civil Rights Movement, and vast advancements in psychology as well as psychiatry within the United States. The novel was influenced by these issues along with Kesey's experience working at a mental health facility in California. In his work, he spoke comprehensively to patients, finding new perspectives, evident in his book. The purpose of Kesey’s novel is to illustrate how society gives labels to people who are divergent in order to force conformity. This…show more content…
Throughout the novel, McMurphy makes constant stands, and shows valiant heroism, similar to a real world activists. For instance, he encouraged the staging a protest against Nurse Ratched over the viewing of the World Series, generating change. In addition, when McMurphy takes the patients on the fishing trip, he helps them realize that they have an extent of power in their lives, and the aren’t completely subservient to “The Combine”. Lastly, McMurphy’s completely transforms the previous makeup of things around the pyschiatric hospital. By the end of the fishing trip, the patients that accompanied are able to participate in laughter, and other communal acts, indicating progress in their overall rehabilitation. Just like any, revolutionary, reformer, or activist McMurphy battles against the oppressive society, and he manages to maintain his personality while bringing about transcendent change. Ultimately, like many heroes before him, he ends being sacrificed by the machinery of oppression, specifically lobotomy. These merits confirm that McMurphy is the hero, that represents real world protagonists that fight even when they eventually are

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