Ken Kesey voices a broad array of his personal positions and values through his fresh ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ . These concerns may hold accumulated during his clip working in a mental establishment. It is in the orientation of the novel that these concerns are introduced. It could be argued that his chief concerns were that of world versus imaginativeness. society robbing people of their individualism and the power of laughter. These values were really controversial at the clip of the novel’s publication and basically what caused ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ success.

Kesey introduces the inquiry ‘is this world or imagination’ early on in the novel through Chief’s word picture of being an undependable storyteller. After being detained due to his involuntariness to be shaved. Chief returns to explicate his theory of the ‘fog machine’ . We. as the reader. cognize that this ‘fog’ is most likely a merchandise of Chief’s imaginativeness. He so forces us to oppugn this premise through stating us. “It’s still difficult for me to hold a clear head believing on it. But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen. ” Kesey worked in a mental establishment for some clip. where he would hold encountered patients such as Chief who believe beyond a uncertainty that what they see is world. This provides the reader with a alone chance to dig into the head of a individual who society deems to be mentally unstable. Due to the effects McMurphy has had on the ward. Chief eventually starts to listen to a adult male of the name Colonel Mattherson.

What Chief originally dismissed as a madman’s ramblings. he now sees as sensical. He proclaims. “You’re doing sense. old adult male. a sense of your ain. You’re non crazy the manner they think. ” This begs the inquiry. is Chief truly ‘crazy the manner we think’ ? Hitherto. Chief has narrated with a chilling reading of the truth. He describes Nurse Ratched as she. “blows up bigger and bigger. large as a tractor. so large I can smell the machinery indoors. ” This is evidently non world. but a mere deranged reading of it. most likely brought about by the administered narcotic drugs. Through the orientation of the novel and the debut of the chief character. we are forced to inquire whether we should swear Chief’s observations. Chief’s narrative causes us to oppugn what is world and what is imaginativeness throughout the remainder of the novel.

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It is evident that one of Kesey’s chief concerns voiced in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is that society robs people of their individualism. The ‘Combine’ is an thought that is invariably referenced throughout the novel. The ‘Combine’ could be considered Chief’s position of society. He believes that this infirmary is the human dynamo for the remainder of the Combine. with Ratched as the accountant. “So she works with an oculus to seting the Outside universe excessively. Working alongside others like her who I call ‘the Combine’… has made her a existent veteran at seting things. ” The Combine acts as a manner to model people into what society deems to be normal. In the 1950-60’s. those diagnosed with mental disablements were shunned and defenestrated from society until they could be ridded of their ‘illness’ . This makes the mental establishment in which Chief resides arguably the topographic point where the most of the ‘adjusting’ occurs. Chief tells us about how the system works. “The ward is a mill for the Combine. It’s for repairing up errors made in the vicinities and in the schools and in the churches. the infirmary is. ” He so goes on to state that one time they have been fixed. they go back out into society “good as new” and repair other ‘mistakes’ .

What Chief calls ‘mistakes’ . are really personality traits that differ from the norm. The character Harding is a premier illustration of this. It is suggested that Harding admitted himself due to his homosexualism. Homosexuality was. and still is. shunned by many people in today’s society. The lone difference being. in the 1950’s. homosexualism was considered a curable unwellness. whilst today it is widely known as familial and absolutely natural. Upon reading the manner Chief describes the Combine. readers are brought to inquire the inquiry: “Am I portion of the Combine? ” Chief would state ‘yes’ . but the Nurse Ratched would deny it’s really existence. When characters with an copiousness of individualism. such as McMurphy. come into the image. we start to see the system as what it genuinely is: a manner to surround creativeness and animation.

When the lively character McMurphy enters the ward. he presents the patients with a construct that will finally turn out to be a better remedy than the Nurse’s regulation: laughter. McMurphy is foremost introduced to the narrative as the patients are hearing his voice reverberation throughout the ward. What was unusual about this peculiar event is that alternatively of seeing McMurphy “creep in the door and slide along the wall and base scared” . McMurphy jests with the Black Boys. Joking and laughing was likely something the patients of the ward seldom hear. This establishes early on that McMurphy is non traveling to be an mean patient. that he will be a accelerator for alteration in the ward. When the patients first see McMurphy. he greets the ward as a whole. so commences to express joy. “Nobody can state precisely why he laughs. there’s nil amusing traveling on… it’s free and loud and it comes out of his broad smile mouth… This sounds existent.

I realize all of a sudden it’s the first laugh I’ve heard in old ages. ” It is after this event that the patients seem to. easy but certainly. go better. This is evident through Chief’s speedy passage from fractured thought. to fluid readability. The effects of McMurphy’s light-heartedness is besides seen through the other patients. such as the alteration from being excessively frightened to vote against the Nurse. to the bulk opinion in the revote. Such drastic alterations cause the reader to inquire if laughter truly is a remedy. and how Kesey would cognize this. Give that Kesey spent clip in a mental establishment. one could presume that he either witnessed the positive effects laughter had on patients. or saw what a damaging consequence a deficiency of laughter could hold. McMurphy instantly states what his purpose will be in the ward. “to bring you birds fun an’ entertainment” . This purpose is achieved within his first hebdomad of being admitted. which ( coincidently or non ) is when the patients begin to do advancement. Kesey values the power of laughter and it’s positive effects on patients. this value is personified through the character of McMurphy.

‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ is riddled with injections of Kesey’s ain positions and values. However. it is in the orientation of the novel that these thoughts are most powerful as they are being introduced. It is through his characters that these concerns are discussed. The writer uses Chief as a agency of presenting the inquiry of world versus imaginativeness. Chief’s fractured watercourse of consciousness causes the reader the inquiry his dependability as a storyteller. Kesey created the character of Nurse Ratched as a manner to show his belief of society robbing people of their individualism. It is through her oppressive opinion and ‘the Combine’s machinery that the patients are being moulded to what society deems to be acceptable. The writer uses McMurphy as a manner to show his thought of the best remedy: laughter. The free spirited McMurphy is what finally brings the patients to do advancement. Kesey. really subtly or otherwise. nowadayss his positions and values at an early phase in his novel ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ .

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