One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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by JB2488
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Ken Kesey was the writer of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Ken Kesey was born in 1935 and lived in Colorado. Kesey worked both in a mental insitution and also participated in an experiment in a mental insitution. This gave him the experience and background to write about both sides of the issue in his novel. Kesey died in 2001 at age 66.

About the Author:

Mental Health and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

By: Jacob Barnhardt07/10/14

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest give readers insight to problems in mental facilities as well how society viewed and treated them in the nineteen-fifties and sixties. It is apparent, that Ken Kesey’s experience with participating in an experiment in a mental facility, as well as working in a mental facility gave him insight to how mental institutions were run and how mental disabilities were dealt with. His book gives the readers of sense of being there, and a sense of understanding for what was going on. Not only was this book important to readers in the sixties, but to readers today to encourage them learn to try to help those around them suffering with mental health problems.

Main Points From my Paper

The novel is in a sense a product of its time, the anti-authoritarian and iconoclastic sixties, celebrating the rebellion of an individual against the system. In particular, it reflects contemporary dissatisfaction with established psychiatric practices and institutions--lobotomy and electroconvulsive therapy, institutionalization and overreliance on drugs--and it points the finger at society. (Semino, Swindlehurst)

Mental Health in relation to the Novel

The Book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, was published in 1962.

Trailer for 1975 film of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and photo from movie

One flew east, one flew west, One flew over the cuckoo's nest

“…Acutes they’d just as leave say over on their own side, give reasons like the Chronic side smells worse than a dirty diaper. But I know it isn’t the stink that keeps them away from the Chronic side so much as they don’t like to be reminded that here’s what could happen to them someday.”

"Never before did I realize that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become. Hitler an example. Fair makes the old brain reel, doesn't it? Food for thought there."

“The installations they do nowadays are generally successful. The technicians got more skill and experience. No more of the button holes in the forehead, no cutting at all – they go in through the eye sockets.”



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