Tuesday, January 17, 2012

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

I really liked this book, even though it took me a while to finish for such a small book. There is 2 reasons why it took my so long to finish the book, 1. I had 3 books from the library that I was supposed to finish before leaving for vacations, and since I owe this one, it went into standby; 2. The descriptions of the treatments are so well described from the point of view of the patients that sometimes I had to put the book down to breathe a little bit and remind myself it was just a book. 

I haven’t seen the movie, but I know the main character, McMurphy was given to Jack Nicholson, and after seeing him in the Shinning I have to say he has to be perfect for this character. McMurphy is taken into an asylum because he acted “insane” to escape forced labor, much better than prison, he thought. However he starts to realize that the asylum won’t be the vacation he was hoping for. The whole story is told by another character, Chief Bromden, a part native patient that as far as everyone is concerned is mute. The story starts with the arrival of McMurphy to the institution and follows his interactions with the other patients. The big issue with the center is that is ruled by Big Nurse, a woman that for years has controlled the patients however she wants, overruling even the doctors. 

Now, this is a story that is developed when psychiatric treatment as basically pills to bring down emotions, electroshock and finally lobotomies. With these arms in hand, Big Nurse can scare the patients into complete submission. Off course this works up until McMurphy enters the game. He starts a revolt, or an awakening of the patients. I enjoyed how the characters are so complementary to finally shine as a unit. Also, the way the influence of McMurphy gets them flourish and respond against the mistreatment they were getting.

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