Posts Tagged ‘Ken Kesey’

Live free or die hard–“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey

We’ve heard of all the crazy shit that goes on in mental institutions. Being locked away in a prison-like cell, all drugged up by stone-faced nurses and being surrounded by what society deems as “insane” people isn’t the most ideal situation one can be in. It’s as if being insane is the sane thing to do.

Told in the point-of-view of a patient, Ken Kesey’s story of a mental institution in the 50s is a reminder of how blurry the line is between sanity and insanity. Chief Bromden has been a patient in an Oregon psychiatric hospital for 10 years. Pretending to be deaf and dumb, he observes what goes on at the all-male hospital, but doesn’t do anything about it.

The ward is run by Nurse Ratched, a composed ex-Army nurse who takes joy in manipulating and degrading everyone. When Randal McMurphy arrives, however, the mood suddenly changes in the depressing ward. Claiming that Nurse Ratched is a ball-cutter, the roughneck gambler makes a bet that he can make her lose her temper within a week. Let the battles begin.