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Thursday, October 27, 2016

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: by Ken Kesey

Hi readers! I recently read the classic that is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

This book is narrated by Chief Bromden, a tall mental institution half-Indian patient, who acts as if he is deaf, dumb and mute. Obviously though, he can understand everything going on around him, for he is the novel's sole narrator! He is the perfect narrator because, while he acts invisible, he is able to listen in on everything that is going on around the ward. I think, however, that he is not the most reliable narrator because he is schizophrenic and, as the reader, we cannot always trust what he says he is seeing.

Chief tells the story focusing on Randal McMurphy, the wards newest patient, who isn't exactly the typical insane asylum patient. McMurphy comes to the mental institution for the main reason that he doesn't want to work on his farm anymore and he thinks coming to the ward will give him some time off. To get himself admitted into the ward, McMurphy acts crazy.

Before McMurphy comes to the ward, Chief and all of the patients can't remember the last time they heard laughter or that anyone stood up to Nurse Ratched, the antagonist of this novel. Nurse Ratched is the head nurse in the ward who manipulates everyone in it. She is power hungry and feels the need to control every tiny detail about the patients' lives: i.e. the exact time they brush their teeth in the morning and she even has group meetings nit picking the details of each patient's life. Nurse Ratched despises McMurphy and his laid back, comic attitude.

This novel depicts the conflict between the mechanic way of the ward vs free spirit Randal McMurphy. It is definitely a classic that I suggest you all read ASAP. It is a quick read and of course, a page turner. While this book is old, it is definitively not too late to give it a read.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks