One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

By , portland, OR

During this semester, I began reading the world famous story of the “One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, by Ken Kesey. I chose this book because I’ve heard nothing but good reviews about it, also my first book was super boring, and recently saw the movie on TV. At first, I started to regret reading it because was intimidated by the size of the book, but have no regrets after finishing it. The novel is told in the perspective of an Indian man, named Chief. He refuses to know people or speak, so those in the mental hospital think he is deaf and mute. He tells the story of the men within the mental hospital, and the thrilling rivalry between the new admit, McMurphy, and the control-freak boss, named Big Nurse.


After finishing this book, I not only have a better understanding for those who suffer from mental illnesses, but now respect those who have them too. Those who suffer from mental illnesses can not control their minds or bodies, and often rely on multiple medications to provide safety for them. Within the novel, many of the patients are required to take medications on a daily basis, while some are “fried alive” or electrocuted in the hopes to “fix” them. Big Nurse is known to be those one who schedules these horrific treatments. When a patient is not under her control or ready to be released, she uses these treatments to have complete control over them. When a patient is acting out, she assigns them lobotomies, which is a procedure where they use a hook to scrape the frontal lobe. They use this procedure to rid of their emotions, but often leaves them emotionless and lifeless.
I recommend this book to those who enjoy rebellions. This book is full of rebels who are fighting for their freedom, but are stopped by a repressor. I personally enjoyed this book because I am a minority, and am used to being stopped by dominant leaders. I can’t relate to the characters through mental illnesses, but can relate to them in different ways. This book allowed me to appreciate life, and help those who suffer from these illnesses. Some view mental illnesses as excuses or not real illnesses. However, they are just as complex and devastating as physical illnesses. They require patience and understanding. 






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