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One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Essay by   •  May 24, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  690 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,241 Views

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey, is a colorful book with many controversial themes and situations. It is about a mental ward controlled by a heartless, conniving nurse that is overtaken by a loud, gambling patient named Randle Patrick McMurphy. Throughout the book, McMurphy continuously tries to help the patients let lose and live a little while getting the Big Nurse's goat. At the end, McMurphy fulfills his duties in setting the other patients free, but only with the price of his life. In my opinion, juniors should not read this book because of the suggestive language and mature scenarios.

Kesey uses suggestive language and includes mature scenarios that are not suitable for juniors in high school. For example, one of the main themes in this book was the importance of expressing your sexuality. McMurphy is constantly telling stories about girls and the "whores" he has been with. "...She was very willing, I practically had to taking to sewing my pants shut. Between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right up there in front of you, I don't think it's crazy at all and I don't think you do either." This is one of the many references to sex McMurphy mentions throughout the book. These mature scenarios could cause juniors to become uncomfortable. Parents would not approve of their children reading about sexual encounters of such magnitude as seen all through Kesey's book. Another example, is the crude and obscene language used by McMurphy in almost every sentence of dialogue. McMurphy continuously uses phrases such as, "full of shit", "goddamn", and the f word countless times. When reading a book or watching a certain television program, teenagers tend to repeat the words or phrases they read and hear. High school students would eventually start saying whatever unsuitable word they find in Kesey's dialogue. Therefore, it would not be a good thing if juniors read this book with all the inappropriate language exhibited in every chapter.

Others might disagree that One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is beneficial for juniors to read because it requires them to think about society on a whole different level. This statement surely has some validity because this book certainly makes you rethink your views on mankind. However, the benefits of this new thinking isn't worth overlooking the adult scenes Kesey's paints in his readers' heads. Toward the end of the book, William Bibbit, one of the ward patients, sleeps with a "whore" and then slits his throat. "He opened the doctor's desk and found some instruments and cut his throat. The poor, misunderstood boy killed himself. He's there now, in the doctor's chair, with his throat cut." Suicide is a very serious and depressing subject to include in a high school book, or any book for that matter. This scene



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