One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
“If it feels good, do it.” This is a quote many people in the 1960’s lived by and tried to use in their everyday life. This was a time of rebellion and change in the United States. Many young citizens turned against the life styles of their parents and decided things needed to change. They felt intense rage from the war in Vietnam and this is when the rebellion began. Many young people turned to radical politics, wore hippy clothes, used drugs and had extremely liberal sexual attitudes. They believed “the man,” or the government wanted to take them down and try to silence their opinions. During this time, the government also institutionalized people into mental wards who were crazy in their opinions. They used outlandish and damaging forms of treatment on these patients such as frontal lobotomy and electroshock therapy. It was a time of change in the United States and you can see Ken Kesey’s perspective on it all through his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Ken Kesey, “The Intrepid Traveler”
The late author Ken Kesey was born on September 17, 1935 and passed away on November 10, 2001. He was the author of many works including Zoo, Caverns and the most popular One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He is a well known author known internationally and across generations. He began writing his now famous novel in the early 1960’s after an experience he encountered that year. He was working a night shift at the Menlo Park Veterans hospital in Virginia. He got an opportunity to speak with some of the patients and started to form his own opinion on them. He didn’t believe they were crazy but rather being pushed out of society because they did not fit into the conventional ideas of how people were supposed to act and behave. He participated in a test for Stanford in 1959 studying the effects of psycho active drugs such as LSD and Cocaine. Even after these tests he took on his own private experimentation where he would use drugs with his fledging group known as “The Merry Pranksters. Much of the hippie aesthetic that would dawn on the San Francisco scene in the late sixties can be traced back to the Merry Pranksters. They openly used psychoactive drugs, wore outrageous attire, performed bizarre acts of street theater, and engaged in peaceful confrontation just like many of the hippies who were around later that decade. Throughout the study and his own experiences he was inspired to write One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
The “Man” and the “Rebels”
Ken Kesey wrote this book to get his message across of how conformed citizens we’re expected to be and how they shouldn’t go against the norms of society. It was to citizens who found the excitement to rebel against authority. They would have admired and related to protagonist, Randle P. Mc Murphy. He was a brawler and bad boy who loved to follow the path less taken. He embodies spontaneity, instinct, sexuality, individuality, and freedom. The audience admires his...