Essay on One flew over the cuckoo's nest

Submitted By yanxfan819
Words: 600
Pages: 3

Anthony Cutrone
Mrs. Cooley
Contemporary Literature
16 May 2010
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Essay The decade of the 1960’s was a period of rebellion in America. It was a time of change compared to the previous decade of the 1950’s. “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey is a novel that shows how different the traditionalist 1950’s was from the rebelling 1960’s. The novel challenged the thinking of the 1950’s by using characters to represent the different time periods. The setting of the novel is a mental institution with patients. The ones who control these patients are Nurse Ratched and the black boys. These characters represent the traditionalist thinkers of the 1950’s. The Nurse is somewhat symbolic of a dictator, and the black boys are the rest of her government. The black boys work for Nurse Ratched on the ward. Based on the Nurse’s “1950’s” thinking, she controls the patients and tells them what medication to take. She feels that since they are mental patients, she can treat them however she wants because they aren’t capable of making their own decisions. She tries to discredit McMurphy, who is the rebel on the ward, and shame the rest of the patients. Harding, who is another patient on the ward, is ridiculed for being gay. There is nothing wrong with him mentally, but since he is not what society expects of him, he was sent to the mental institution. Right at the beginning of the novel, a perfect example of how the Black Boys took advantage of the patients was shown. “Stick a mop in my hand and motion to the spot they aim for me to clean today, and I go.” This is a quote from Chief Bromden, another patient on the ward. He was referring to when the Black Boys made him mop for no reason. According to the 1950’s thinking, these patients were to do as they were told by authority. Some of the patients represented the challenging, rebelling 1960’s. McMurphy was the main patient who tried to rebel from the Nurse the most. McMurphy tried to do everything that would go against what the Nurse wanted. He promoted gambling, tried to watch the World Series when…