Ap Lit Final Essay

787 words - 4 pages

Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest explores the dysfunctions and struggles of life for the patients in a matriarch ruled mental hospital. As told by a schizophrenic Native American named Chief Bromden, the novel focuses primarily on Randle McMurphy, a boisterous new patient introduced into the ward, and his constant war with the Big Nurse Ratched, the emasculating authoritarian ruler of the ward. Constricted by the austere ward policy and the callous Big Nurse, the patients are intimidated into passivity. Feeling less like patients and more like inmates of a prison, the men surrender themselves to a life of submissiveness-- until McMurphy arrives. With his defiant, fearless and ...view middle of the document...

The 1950’s saw economic prosperity, what historians call the post-world war II economic boom, in which manufacturing and construction were at a remarkable high and the economy of the country experienced incredible growth. In the world of politics, the fear of communism was a controlling factor, and with the Cold War causing a tense situation for governments across the world, 1950’s America was marked by intense political conservatism and societal conformity. The flourishing production of the decade has caused the era to be characterized as materialistic in nature, and the societal and political state has kept the decade noted as compliant and conforming. The ironic communistic qualities and broadly accepted conformist values of the decade also prompted a less extensive but still very present aspect of 1950’s America: rebellion. The rebels of the 1950’s, commonly referred to as the Beat generation, aimed primarily to protest the normalcy and hypocrisy of society of the era. Beats did not necessarily intend to reform society or start a revolution; they believed in the pursuit of happiness, they just operated toward it differently than the average person. As opposed to the proceeding rebels of the tumultuous sixties, the Beat generation sought after personal revelation rather than social revolution.

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