The novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey, is a story based in a psychiatric ward, published in 1962 and based in the 50's. The book is heavily influenced by Kesey’s experiments with LSD and his job of the time as an orderly in a psychiatric ward .New for the 60’s,the book is considered a counterculture novel, rather than attack communism, it attacked the structure of American institutions. The story is told from the point of view of one of the ward's patients,Chief Bromden, who suffers from paranoia and hallucinations,this doesnt hinder the story in any way however,it gives metaphorical insight in a very literal way. The story begins with the arrival of a new patient McMurphy,who soon becomes the idol of the ward members and takes on the monumental task of giving back the ward members both their confidence and individuality,mostly through his defiance of “the big nurse” (Kesey 1) . In the end McMurphey saves the rest of the ward members in a sense, only through the loss of his own self. The book in its entirety brought new light on the fate of societies outcasts and the gruesome truth of what was considered to be medical treatment.
In Jon Swaine's in his article “How 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' changed psychiatry” , Swaine goes into detail on how Ken Kesey may have singlehandedly taken electroconvulsive therapy out of the range of acceptable psychological procedures and put it in the same category as the electric chair, a dark procedure not considered humane enough for the modern world. Swaine goes on in his article to summarize the book before continuing on with the expressions of Dr Frank Pittman, “the renowned American psychiatrist who said 'the publication of the book 'had an enormous effect' on his ...
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...ck…one flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest…O-U-T spells out…goose swoops down and plucks you out.” ( Kesey 270). Colloquialism is also constantly present throughout the novel as it is being narrated by chief Bromden, who has a bit of an Indian way of speaking,McMurphey also has his own distinct dialect,it shows his laid back nature, “Take'er easy,I'll go first. My skull's too thick for them to hurt me. And if they can't hurt me they cant hurt you.” (Kesey 268)
"Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Benefits & Side Effects." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.
Kesey, Ken, and John Clark. Pratt. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. New York: Signet Book, the Penguin Group, 1963. Print.
Swaine, Jon. "How 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' Changed Psychiatry." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 1 Feb. 20011. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.