Production[ edit ] Actor Kirk Douglas —who had originated the role of McMurphy in the —64 Broadway stage version of the Ken Kesey novel—had purchased the film rights to the story, and tried for a decade to bring it to the big screen, but was unable to find a studio willing to make it with him. Eventually, he gave the rights to his son Michael Douglaswho succeeded in getting the film produced—but the elder Douglas, by then nearly 60, was considered too old for the McMurphy role, which ultimately went to year-old Jack Nicholson.
It is a tall tale about a conflict of wills and a social tract attacking the medieval and inhumane treatment of mental patients and calling for reform.
On a broader level, it is a microcosm, with the insane asylum a representative small world reflecting a macrocosmic conflict between the individual and society, freedom and restraint, nature and technology. Former Marine McMurphy had experienced the horrors of brainwashing in a Red Chinese prison camp, only to be exposed to the same process on home grounds.
His battle with Big Nurse and, by extension, the Combine, is against all systems that try to narrow and limit human nature. Big Nurse is precise, efficient, and machine-like the values of pragmatic technologywhile McMurphy is associated with wild geese and other elements of nature.
A tough, swaggering convict, Irishman, and logger, McMurphy has himself transferred from jail to a mental asylum because of his wild behavior. He thinks it will be an easy time, with the extra attraction of a chance to con a few inmates out of spending money. He challenges the authority of Big Nurse, the ward superintendent, whose fake smile and feigned concern turns men against one another, preys on their fears, and weakens their nerve.
He defies Big Nurse openly, breaks her rules, and wins the admiration of the men, who slowly begin to join in his acts of defiance. The knowledge that most of the inmates are voluntary admits, whereas he is committed until released by Big Nurse, at first cows McMurphy, but when Big Nurse once more begins to undercut the men, the con man gives way to the hero.
The inmates respond positively to this defiance and ultimately work up the courage to vote for a fishing trip that Big Nurse has done her best to thwart, a trip that gives them a taste of normality and power. McMurphy smuggles the two prostitutes who accompany them on the trip into the ward for a nighttime party that ends tragically when Big Nurse discovers their game, isolates the weakest inmate, Billy Bibbit, and drives him to suicide.
In doing so he dooms himself but gives his fellow inmates hope and self-assurance. As a result, the voluntary inmates leave the asylum to face the real world. In the last scene, Chief Bromden smothers the husk that was McMurphy, lifts the control panel that McMurphy had been unable to move, hurls it through the barred window, and escapes across the fields.Ken Kesey’s novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" remains one of the most celebrated and talked about works of 20 th century American literature since its debut in Yet while it is seen primarily as a novel satirizing social control by setting it in a mental institution, this is a superficial reading.
Last night, at about 2 am, I finished 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by Ken Kesey. I lay awake for a long time afterward, watching the bars of light on the ceiling, holding my eyes open until the pupils dilated enough to shrink the light, then I'd blink and have to start all over.
Apr 14, · A literary analysis of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for AP English One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey - Duration: Mix - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Literary Analysis. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a American comedy-drama film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey.
The film stars Jack Nicholson, and features a supporting cast of Louise Fletcher, William Redfield, Will Sampson, and Brad Dourif. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a novel by Ken Kesey that was first published in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Critical Essays Ken Kesey While the novel’s language referring to minorities and women surely may be taken as representative of the American society in the.
|One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Writing Style||When humans become avatars for good and evil, what gets lost or ignored? Yet while it is seen primarily as a novel satirizing social control by setting it in a mental institution, this is a superficial reading.|
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