“A man should have the right to be as big as he feels it’s in him to be.”
Ken Kesey’s distinct literary voice takes conventional American ideas and presents them in a very unconventional fashion, combining the strength and self- reliance of the traditional American West with the blurred reality of the 1960s.
“His characters flourish best among the innocent ideals of the Jeffersonian landscape… populated with peaceful, hardworking, independent yeomen, roused to instant action by any threat to their independence” (Barsness 30). “An admiration for self- reliant action runs deep in the American psyche” (Tanner 19).
“Hank scooped him up before he could finish and perched him on his shoulder. ‘Bee-cause, bub, how you ever gonna get fierce, you don’t learn to get out yonder an’ meet the Hidebehind in his own territory? Takes some grit an’ gumption, but it’s gotta be did or you’ll spend your life in a hole like a gopher” (295).
“I’m just as concerned as the next guy, just as loyal. If we was to get into it with Russia I’d fight for us right down to the wire. And if Oregon was to get into it with California I’d fight for Oregon. But if somebody—Biggy Newton or the Woodworkers Union or anybody—gets into it with me, then I’m for me! When the chips are down, I’m my own patriot” (363).
“A man is always surprised just how much he can do by himself” (618).