Marwan Asmar's Reviews > One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
by Ken Kesey
by Ken Kesey
A book to remember, the daily life of mentally-dusturbed characters in a psychiatric ward. A gripping read, it follows the antics of R.P. McMurphy, a patient who doesn't appear to be mentally-disturbed yet whose is committed to the ward by the authorities that be, and unlike his colleagues, who are disturbed, but can leave the award anytime they want. This is a work of fiction and probably has no direct bearing on the work of mental institutions, except from the perspective of providing entertainment narrative. However, the one particularly glaring aspect is that doctors may have the power to perform a tiny operation on the brain--lobotomy--and turn an active person into a more "pliant" human being, and/or a "vegetable" which is what happens to McMurphy. The proceedure was used on mentally disturbed, often violent patients, but now is rarely used. Then when the book was written, in the 1950s and 1960s, this was probably an area of medical experimentation. The implication of the proceedure as used in the book however, was an attempt to resetablish conformity and order instead of the emotional upsets that follows that trails of McMurphy as he sets up shop on the ward. Another implication the novel tried to bring out, and as in the case of McMurphy, is that people, maybe sent to the wrong institions for "treatment" which ends up upsetting the whole status quo.
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