Presentation on theme: "Born in 1935, raised on farms in Oregon and Colorado In 1959, when he volunteered to be a subject in Government experiments with hallucinogenic drugs,"— Presentation transcript:
Born in 1935, raised on farms in Oregon and Colorado In 1959, when he volunteered to be a subject in Government experiments with hallucinogenic drugs, his life underwent a dramatic change.
Near the end of the experiments, he began working the night shift in a mental ward. He started to feel that the patients were not really crazy after all, just more individualized than society was willing to accept. Parts of this novel were written while he was under the influence of LSD and peyote.
Occurred between the Beat movement of the 50s and the hippies of the later 60s. Merry Pranksters : His goal was to break through conformist thought and ultimately forge a reconfiguration of American society. Kesey believed that one's personal fears should be confronted under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. Green Kool-Aid laced with LSD: (immortalized in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe)
Diagnosing insanity, what defines insanity The power of the combine Challenging symbols of conformity Bromden and invisibility The electroshock therapy table as a symbol Women as castrators Title rhyme as a symbol (One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoos nest)
Physical and moral courage Group effort - The Combine Morality - good over evil Biblical allegory Importance of sexuality Anti-feminism - superiority of males Human freedom vs. control Humor and satire, the power of laughter Cartoon imagery Symbolism of names
R. P. McMurphy: A con man who becomes a modern-day rebel and hero cast in the mode of the cowboy hero of the American Western. Charming and manipulating, he is a forceful character living a generation too late. He challenges authority. Using a strong sense of humor and comic exaggeration, he instigates the changes at the sanitarium and teaches the inmates to be sane.
Billy Bibbit: A thirty-one year old man, psychologically an adolescent, is still under the control of his mother. McMurphy finds a way to bring out his manhood.
Chief Bromden: Schizophrenic, and as narrator, holds a key position. He is a tall and strong Native American who feigns muteness and deafness to protect himself from pain. McMurphy rescues him from his silence.
Nurse Ratched: Big Nurse, described as 'enormous, capable of swelling up bigger and bigger to monstrous proportions. She is the ward superintendent, the ultimate authority demanding obedience and perfect order from everyone.
Dale Harding: The best educated of the men on the ward, Dale Harding is president of the Patients' Council when McMurphy is admitted to the hospital. He serves a useful purpose, both for McMurphy and for us: while the Chief with his hallucinations may give us an unusual insight into the hospital, Harding gives us the sorts of rational explanations we're used to hearing. It's Harding who tells McMurphy how Nurse Ratched is able to maintain her power, how electroshock therapy works, what a lobotomy does to people. It's Harding who helps the new patients and the reader understand the matriarchy directed by Nurse Ratched. His change and cure is complete, thanks to McMurphy.