Tuesday, October 6, 2009

one flew over the cuckoo's nest - ken kesey

i will always remember one of the first lessons taught to us in my college psychology class so many years ago - while only a select few can claim the privilege of earning the diagnosis clinically insane, the fact is that we are all crazy. i couldn't help but consider this as i read this thought provoking story of an "institute of psychology" and the colorful characters that call the asylum home.
the conflict of the story resides mainly in two characters. first, the big nurse, who has for a long time been the head of this particular ward of the asylum, and who has grown a bit corrupt with the power of her position. her opponent for the story is mcmurphy, a good ole southern boy who likes to gamble, enjoys drinking, and loves to fight. he is a newly committed patient who quickly decides that he doesn't agree with the way things are run and will do his best to change it. this power struggle grows more and more severe until the shocking climax.
i must say that i was captivated by the book. unfortunately, the book was very graphic and mature in it's content and i must not recommend it to any impressionable readers. it is most definitely not a bed time story for the kids. but it is an interesting study of psychology, the abuse of power, what drives men to give up on trying to function in society, and what could possibly inspire them to come back.

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