One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) , written by Ken Kesey, is set in an Oregon asylum. The novel serves as a study of the institutional process and the human mind, as well as a critique of Behaviorism and a celebration of humanistic principles. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a direct product of Kesey’s time working as an orderly at a mental health facility in Menlo Park, California.
Time Magazine mentioned the novel in its list of “100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005”.
To escape labor duties in prison, McMurphy pleads insanity and is sent to a ward for the mentally unstable. Once here, McMurphy both endures and witnesses the abuse and degradation of the oppressive Nurse Ratched. McMurphy and the other inmates team up to make a rebellious stance against the atrocious Nurse.
One aspect of the book which is not likend by many is its misogynistic and anti-feminist undertones. For this reason, many have criticized the author. While it can be construed as a shortcoming or truth bared, the novel, for a fact, remains one of the greatest written in the 60’s and Kesey’s best ever. The horrors of the mental health system can be disturbing for many but it appears to depict the state of affairs of the time period.
The novel was adapted into a play in 1963 and a film, starring Jack Nicholson and winning five Academy Awards, in 1975. It was also adapted in a 1986 Malayalam language film Thalavattam by Priyadarshan.
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