Novel – One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest [REVIEW] – A Heroic Act Of Sacrifice And Compassion

Goodreads Rating: 4,19/5
Author: Ken Kesey
Genres: Classic, Fiction, Young Adult, Academic


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Bully, discrimination, and superpower. The first thing I just wanna say about the movie just blows my mind and deserved five Oscar awards. It’s so charming, an anti-hero groundbreaking story about a person who feels sympathy after pretending to be insane – hospitalized for committing sexual harassment. The main character, Randle McMurphy, is not a good guy behind his actions who really broke a rule by the power of authorities brainwashed their patients. On the other hand, he is one of the insane characters I’ve ever seen from all movies, novels, comics, even in anime.

The movies taught me a lot about life without hanging to any others, trying to be a free person to really feel what life is. My quick and short review on the movie isn’t long and interesting at all because it’s like all my old reviews when I first created this blog which I didn’t know what I want to write other than not understanding the resources after I enjoyed them. As time goes by, I learn so much how to understand things, not from just a single point of view. Looking from the other side is like seeing a different world without people thinking. And now, introduce one of the greatest fictional classic books as I used it as a reference at a college, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

In contrast to the movie, the novel focuses more on Chief Bromden, an American-Indian guy who got caught up in the hospital behind his flashback problems, especially with his father. He was later haunted by the past where he is now in an insane asylum of a superpower by one of the infamous nurse ever, Nurse Ratched. He finally had to pretend to be deaf-dumb to be able to understand his surroundings without being the attractive patients in the asylum, even though he is a six-feet tall. In this novel, he serves as the narrator; tells all kinds of events in the hospital. Just like the movie, the book shows something which is at least the same as the movie, but the book really mindblowing than the film because it shows something more than the film.

Nurse Ratched, the heel antagonist, is even ruthless in the book. I just wanna punch her just once in order to stop her action which really shows the original character. She controls all the psychologic and mentality of all the patients, every day, and every time, how she can handle existing conditions without showing her true identity without anyone notice. She shows carefully but hides her douchebag side to keep her character. How does she use electro-shock if there is a patient who resists a little, how she pits the minds of all patients in an inhuman way, and how she complains all patients by attack each other without any resistance. What makes me even more ironic is that all the patients cannot do anything with themselves, must be able to persist every day by the treatment carried out on Nurse Ratched.

Therefore, came the anti-hero, McMurphy, who was different from the others, pretending to be insane so that he would not be put in prison. He is full of confidence, a lunatic fringe, and always takes the consequences of his own responsibilities. Unlike the others, he wasn’t entirely a patient or an insane man who was in the asylum. While he quickly acknowledges and understands how the circumstance is in the hospital, his sympathy arises with how to take action in the hospital’s resistance. With his way of being out of authority, he did many tricks in order to create mess up in the hospital, starting from getting the patients on a sailing boat while fishing and partying while drunk at night.

The conflict between McMurphy and Ratched is so great with their emotions and pretty intense. Although at first, I didn’t know what really happened. This conflict always resisted at all by throwing statements or arguments so that the true side of the antagonist would appear. As the novel goes funny in the beginning, McMurphy promises to raise the temper of the Nurse Ratched for one week. The conflict between these two characters does seem funny both in novels and movies because whatever these patients did is as if they are so innocent yet so cute. McMurphy carried out various ways in order to raise the temper of the Nurse Ratched as it did, for example, McMurphy being complained because Nurse Ratched turned off the television so they couldn’t watch and protest the action. This also triggered Bromden because he saw McMurphy as the extraordinary and different person from the others so that he revealed his true identity. The relationship between Bromden and McMurphy is so charming and cute. As a criminal with patients undergoing an obscure experience, their friendship is just one of the best in this novel. A friendship formed in an asylum of so cruel authority that in the end, the ending is really something so full of sadness.

Ken Kesey was certainly inspired by a patient in a hospital, Menlo Park Veterans. Kesey learned a lot in there how these patients went through their activities, an experience he would never be able to get and not all the patients at there were insane. And it’s really described how Kesey showed these patients in this book. Not all are insane and not all have mental disabilities. This is where stereotypes like this are killed so that there is no such mindset. Kesey also said that he wants to make people understand the madness, it’s not easy to turn away from it and there are always people who control it.

5 Star


The book has a very depth story about. Various characters that I don’t understand in the movie are explained in this book. The story is great and well-executed in each chapter, it has a memorable thing to do in this novel. This book seems to be a slap of having to do something, do what yourself said so. Not only that, the novel is taught me a lot about how to be confident all the times, getting the circumstance is helpful, but don’t go on randomly. When a superpower is in a group, country, or even a family, this book teaches you how to argue it, raise your honesty and your own opinion if you don’t want to be controlled, want to be a free person. It tells the story that’s so valuable yet classic, should be read by everyone. At last, I finally understood what the title itself meant: one flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest. One flew as McMurphy and the cuckoo’s nest as the insane asylum.

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