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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Introductory Lecture.

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Presentation on theme: "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Introductory Lecture."— Presentation transcript:

1 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Introductory Lecture

2 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 2 The Life and Times of Ken Kesey Themes & Symbols

3 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 3 Bibliographic Information Kesey was born in 1935 in La Junta, Colorado Lived on farms in Colorado and Oregon Attended University of Oregon's School of Journalism 1958 – Enrolled in creative writing program at Stanford University Married his highschool sweetheart, Norma “Faye” Haxby, and had three children, Jed, Zane and Shannon.

4 Known as a cultural icon who some consider a link between the "beat generation" of the 1950s (jazz, poetry, drug experiences) and the "hippies" of the 1960s.

5 The Beat Generation

6 Hippies n+The+1960S&view=detail&mid=9CDD4E1C 3CC8F31A916B9CDD4E1C3CC8F31A916B& first=0

7 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 7 Experimentation Menlo Park Veterans Hospital research program LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and amphetamine IT-290 What does this mean?

8 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 8 Well... Writing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest At the end of his participation in drug experiments, Kesey worked in a mental ward at the hospital and felt that the patients weren't crazy at all but did not “fit” in with society. “[Kesey's] goal was to break through conformist thought and ultimately forge a reconfiguration of American society.”

9 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 9 The Merry Pranksters Kesey's group of friends:  Took psychedelic drugs  Wore outrageous clothing  Participated in peaceful confrontations with the law  Performed bizarre street acts  Were against all levels of conformity and conventionality

10 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 10 The Merry Pranksters Tired partygoers enjoy the vestiges of the Acid Test Graduation, an elaborate Halloween party thrown by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters at the Warehouse, San Francisco, Oct. 31, Along with live music and psychedelic light shows, large quantities of hallucinogenic drugs were consumed at the Acid Tests, though LSD was outlawed in the state of California (Oct. 7, 1966). Ted Streshinsky/CorbisBrittanica.com

11 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 11 The Merry Pranksters To promote Kesey's novel Sometimes a Great Notion, the Merry Pranksters took off on a tour from San Fransisco to New York in their 'bus‘ nick named ‘Furthur.’ This trip, described in Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool- Aid Acid Test (and later in Kesey's own screenplay "The Further Inquiry") was the group's attempt at making art out of everyday life. "What we hoped was that we could stop the coming end of the world." Kesey

12 The Magic Trip

13 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 13 The Kool-Aid Acid Test Name given to Kesey's wild parties Kesey would have his guests ingest LSD, sometimes without acknowledgement Blue Kool-Aid Facing one's fears under LSD.

14 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 14 The Merry Pranksters “Ken Kesey, who was at the center of the psychedelic counterculture on the West Coast, speaks with his band of Merry Pranksters, San Francisco, 'I believe man is changing," Kesey said. "Our concept of reality is changing. It's been happening here in San Francisco. I believe there's a whole new generation of kids. They're different. I can hear it in the music.'” Brittanica.com

15 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 15 The Merry Pranksters and the Psychedelic Era It has been said that they were responsible for the introduction of the San Francisco psychedelic era that is the 60's. In 1966, Kesey has stated that these drugs were “temporary and delusional” but this could not stop the trend that he and the Merry Pranksters has started.

16 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 16 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Became incredibly popular and was viewed as a critical look on society. Still claimed as Kesey's most popular work.

17 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Based on Kesey’s experiences as an orderly at a mental health facility in Menlo Park, CA Exposed the public to the inner workings of mental health institutions Narrated by a schizophrenic patient Chief Bromden Reveals Nurse Ratched’s abuse of power (i.e. shock theraphy & lobotomies)

18 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 18 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest “It was read as a compelling cautionary tale that viewed society, represented by Big Nurse, as a cold, formidable negation of all that is free, lusty and nonconformist. McMurphy, a malingerer from a penal work farm, tries to rekindle a spark of life among his fellow patients, and is thwarted at each step by the cold, calculating Nurse Ratched” Lets see what you think!

19 Analysis: Themes, Symblos, & Characters 19 Sources Used by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia /

20 American Film Institute: Heroes & Villains -top 50 villains and heroes in 100 years of film history Atticus Finch (from To Kill A Mockingbird) the greatest hero of all time Dr. Hannibal Lecter (from Silence of the Lambs) the top villain The other within the top 5 villains: Norman Bates, Darth Vader, The Wicked Witch of the West, Nurse Ratched


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