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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Research Papers

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest research papers look at the themes and plot of the Kesey's novel. The novel can be studied under several different aspects, include the struggles of McMurphy, the abuse of the mental health system and the personalities of the characters within One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Have Paper Masters custom write your project on the novel.

Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is an epic tale of mental dysfunction, social inadequacy and the abuse of authority. 

  • The novel is narrated by a silent but vital character, Chief Bromden, who serves to bring the book’s plot and the character’s actions together.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • The setting for the book is a psychiatric hospital where patients are categorized and labeled by their psychiatric weaknesses, many of which stem from the negative influences of society on their lives.
  • Major players in the novel include the institution’s authority abusers including:
    • Big Nurse and Public Relation and the hospital’s most prolific psychiatric patients including:
      • Chief Bromden
      • McMurphy
      • Cheswick
      • Bibbit
  • Throughout the book, Kesey maintains an environment of conflict that is successfully portrayed by the struggle to dominate and to avoid domination. 

Many of the novel’s characters fail to win their struggle however through the characters of Chief and McMurphy, he offers the hope that the deplorable conditions and the harsh treatment that the patient’s receive at the hands of those in authority will ultimately come to and end.  Things finally do change for the good at the psychiatric hospital but not until Kesey has managed to reveal disturbing events of extreme patient abuse, unrest, death and betrayal.

The main idea of the book is to demonstrate that people will use others, particularly those who are less fortunate or more vulnerable, to accomplish their own purposes no matter how unreasonable or flawed those purpose are.  This idea is demonstrated repeatedly in the way that characters abuse their authority, dominate others or try to force their opinions on others.

There is one primary assumption conveyed in the book, which is that society, which is symbolized by the mental institution, is filled with individuals that will take advantage of the less fortunate or vulnerable.

The book is objective to the extent that it suggests that severe and inequitable conditions can exist and therefore be observed at mental institutions and across society.

The book is largely subjective because many of the actual scenarios are fictional and based on the perceived realities of human behavior in mental institutions.  A more objective portrayal would have dealt with observed or factual evidence of such a deplorable environment.  As it stands, institutions have been traditionally viewed subjectively as places of extreme and disturbing human behavior acted out by both the institutionalized population and those in authority.

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