Books and Movies Reviews

Ken Kesey- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Offers Important Insights on Human Conditions and the Human Society

Ken Kesey;s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo;s Nest has been known as one of the strangest and most psychedelic novel ever written. The plot takes place exclusively in a mental institution, which is almost cut off completely from the outside world because of the despotic management of the ward by nurse Ratched. The novel thus offers important insights on human condition and the human society. The oppression and the terror promoted by the mental institution is a symbol for social oppression and the intimidation produced by all the systems and mechanisms of the modern world.
The story is told in the voice of a half-Indian man named Chief Bromden, a huge man who is however extremely shy and isolated. The schizophrenic Bromden pretends to be deaf and mute, so as to shield himself from what he guesses to the threat posed by the ward;s medical staff. His behavior betrays his unconscious desire to defend himself against the aggressive environment. His distorted perception of himself is also very significant for the social oppression. Despite his physical strength he sees himself as a small and helpless man, and tries to go unnoticed as much as possible. It is to be suspected that his behavior is also influenced by his racial origin: as a half-Indian in the white, dominant race, Chief feels vulnerable and silent. Significantly, the story is filtered through his vision, so that the events themselves are slightly distorted and hallucinatory. It is hard to talk of facts in the novel, precisely because the narrative is let loose by the haze that shadows Chief;s mind at all times. The rest of the characters in the novel, clearly fall into two categories: the;good; characters are the madmen, who live under constant terror, while the;bad; characters are the members of the medical staff. The division can only be drawn superficially for some of the characters, since everything takes place in a mental instit…


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