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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by stan_da_man on Sun 27 Jan 2008, 1:53 pm

    I just recently started reading this book, and so far it is an amazing read. It was written in 1962 by Ken Kesey.

    The story is narrated by the docile, yet schizophrenic Chief Bromden, and this story focuses on the antics of gleefully rebellious Randle McMurphy, a transferee from a workfarm prison to a mental hospital.

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest refers constantly to different
    authorities that control individuals through subtle and coercive
    methods. The novel's narrator, the Chief, combines these authorities in
    his mind, terming them "The Combine" in reference to the mechanistic
    way they manipulate and process individuals. The authority of The
    Combine is most often personified in the character of Nurse Ratched who
    controls the inhabitants of the novel's mental ward through a
    combination of rewards and subtle shame. Although she does not normally
    resort to conventionally harsh discipline her actions are portrayed as
    more insidious than those of a conventional prison administrator. This
    is because the subtlety of her actions prevents her prisoners from
    understanding that they are being controlled at all. The Chief also
    sees the combine in the damming of the wild Columbia river where his Native American ancestors hunted, and in the broader conformity of post-war American consumer society.
    The novel's critique of the mental ward as an instrument of oppression
    comparable to the prison mirrored many of the claims that French
    intellectual Michel Foucault was making at the same time. Similarly Foucault argued that invisible forms of discipline oppressed individuals on a broad societal scale, encouraging them to censor aspects of themselves and their actions.

    This book is an excellent read, and if you have seen the movie, you will not be dissapointed.