Ken Kesey You'Re Cuckoo.

1663 Words7 Pages
Oh Ken Kesey, You’re Cuckoo. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, with its meaningful message of individualism, was an extremely influential novel during the 1960's. In addition, its author, Ken Kesey, played a significant role in the development of the counterculture of the 60's; this included all individuals who did not conform to society's standards, experimented in drugs, and just lived their lives in an unconventional manner. An issue of Time Magazine during this decade recalled Ken Kesey’s novel to be, “A roar of protest against middle brow society’s rules and the invisible rulers who enforce them.” (Lehmann-Haup) This protest would be the main mind set of the upcoming 1970s generation in America. Once an LSD consumer, Ken Kesey, defines the importance of freedom throughout his world renowned Post-Modern novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. One element of Postmodernism in the novel, is the effect of society against the individual. Society and government power systems become the machine and our postmodern anti-hero rages against that machine (Bendingfield). In the story, Chief, the narrator, in the book is a damaged ex-soldier who sees the machine enemy all around him. The reader takes it as metaphor, but Chief who is a paranoid schizophrenic, sees it as reality. We get his first machine image as he tells of Big Nurse coming on duty, going after her underlings, the black boys. He sees her as "she blows up bigger and bigger, big as a tractor so I can smell the machinery inside" (Kesey 11). Later, we hear Chief say, "There’s Page 2 a whine of fear over the silence. I hear the machinery in the walls catch and go on" (Kesey 55). Throughout the book, the controlling imagery is machinelike. Nurse’s name is even a tool, a ratchet, for fixing broken machines. Another key characteristic of any post-modern book, is including the social issue of women or any
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