McMurphy, a criminal who feigns insanity, is admitted to a mental hospital where he challenges the autocratic authority of the head nurse.
Published in 1962, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST can be seen as a battle between the conventions of mainstream society and the anarchy of the counterculture. As a satirical critique of repressive authority figures, it pointedly spoke to the concerns of the day. Found guilty of statutory ******, Randall Patrick McMurphy agrees to be committed to a mental institution in order to avoid a work camp. He is placed in a ward overseen by Nurse Ratched, a controlling and abusive woman who quickly pegs the charismatic McMurphy as a trouble-making manipulator. As he fights a vicious game of one-upsmanship with Nurse Ratched, using the other patients as pawns, McMurphy effects some positive changes in the place: the patients not only stage a sit-down strike so they can watch the World Series, they even manage to send themselves on a wacky deep-sea fishing trip. But the desperate struggle between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched continues until they destroy each other. The 1975 film version of the novel won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
- Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
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- July 1, 1989
- July 1, 1989
- Ken Kesey