Patients at the mental hospital, like narrator, Chief Bromden, have continually followed the dictatorial rule of Nurse Ratched. Never has anyone questioned her authority until Randle McMurphy checks into the ward. He challenges the patients to defy Nurse Ratched, and he urges others to embrace ideas that may not be viewed as acceptable to society. His efforts towards resisting authority end in a series of heartbreaking results.
I rated this book a definite ten out of ten. Kesey created characters that never failed to interest me. From page one I was intrigued by the thorough visuals given by the narrator, Chief. The details Kesey uses crafted images that rang true. The strong characters and precise descriptions created a tragic, thoughtful story.
This novel is an allegory, but the rich sensory imagery created text that felt authentic, like a memoir. Symbolism is a technique utilized throughout this story. Kesey crafted an emerging theme through his characters. He dealt with the ideas of responsibility and freedom, through acts of rebellion— an idea inspired by the American culture throughout the mid twentieth century. Kesey’s experimentation with character development was brilliant and resulted in a touching theme that continues to disturb me.
I recommend this novel to mature readers who enjoy strong character-driven plots.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest was not only the best book I read last year, but it is also part of the Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century. For decades this book has astonished the minds of its readers, and I hope it will astonish you, as well.
Publisher: Penguin Group, 277 pages