One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

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Everyone at some point in their lives have felt different or out of place. Everyone has also either had a bully or that one person they just didn't want to be around them or anyone they knew. Furthermore, everyone has had that one person they admired for sticking up for themselves and saying what they wanted, even if it meant sure punishment. In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, these three attributes stick out in the story. A discussion of the setting, theme, and character situations of the story will help one understand how those feelings fall into line with most every person on the streets today.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is set mainly in a mental hospital tucked away in the forests of Oregon. During a sustained portion of the novel though, the patients from the mental hospital go on a deep-sea fishing trip and the setting shifts to the open sea. Every character involved in the novel is either a patient or a doctor at the hospital, leaving little room for the setting to alter to anything outside of the institute.

In this novel, every individual is pushed around by one person or another making the main theme of the novel suppression of an individual. Men like Harding, Billy Bibbit, Seefeld, Frederickson, and McMurphy are not really crazy. The only reason McMurphy is in the hospital is because he faked insanity to get out of prison. They are here because they cannot cope with society. They have been beaten into submission, and their individuality has been taken over by Nurse Ratched. They believe that living in society is too hard. They feel they are unable to fend for themselves, so they need someone like the demanding Nurse to control them. Unfortunately, they cannot live with their cowardly ways and will remain cowards for the rest of their lives. Every man in the institute has some type of deformity or problem with things such as speak showing through as their weaknesses. Even the staff workers have suffered at the hands of society, and the Nurse uses their hatred to help control the members of the hospital. They, in a sense, have been "trained" to take insults and, therefore, nothing affects them.

The Chief, an Indian, has been treated like he hasn‘t existed his entire life.
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