Why Does One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Remain so Special?

Enjoy this guest post about this infamous book!

“One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest” is one of the most memorable books of the 20th century for a number of reasons. It is a type of book that really resonates with readers. It invites them into an asylum and into the lives of the characters. After the book is completed, the challenges that the characters encountered and either conquered or were defeated by stick with the reader for some time.

Mildred Ratched

One of those memorable themes is the interaction between Mildred Ratched, commonly known as Nurse Ratched, and the patients. Her obsession with power can be compared to those who are in positions of authority in prison settings. In connection with that, the patients can be compared to prisoners as most simply accepted their situations and their roles as prisoners in the hospital setting. This in and of itself could be the basis for some very interesting writing and essay editing.

Randle McMurphy is the main protagonist on the side of the patients. He continuously stood up for himself and for his fellow patients in a manner that the rest of the patients either wished they could or that they were simply unable or unwilling to. Throughout the book, he and Nurse Ratched pushed each other, trying to force the other to succumb to their own way of thinking.

Chief Bromden, the narrator of the book, is somebody who may at first glance appear to be dull and uninteresting as he appeared to be deaf and mute to others at the hospital. However, doing so allowed him to find out much more about the people at the hospital as others simply did not realize he could hear or understand what they were saying. The Chief was in fact a very bright and compassionate individual.

Some of the most memorable scenes from the book have to do with the medical procedures that were done to some mentally ill patients, both in the book and in real life during the time period the book was written.

Lobotomies were performed during the 1950s with an acceptance that can be hard to comprehend nowadays. The procedure has the ability to turn those who may be hard to control into people who are more relaxed, but who also have very low mental capabilities compared to before the completion of the procedure. In fact, this book helped educate the general public as to how often these dangerous procedures were being done at that time.

Another medical procedure used on mentally ill patients in “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest” was electroshock therapy. It was also used to control the patients as if they were prisoners. It would change the patients from difficult to manage to timid and easy to control. The primary side effect of electroshock therapy was loss of memory, including for life events that occurred after the use of the therapy.

Those undertaking essay editing and writing relating to this engaging book will find many themes and characters to write about and explore in addition to the above characters and issues.

John Grant is a regular writer for many book sites. He is also writing his very first novel.