Kesey’s Purpose In One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest Kesey’s purpose/ Message Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is a multidimensional novel with many important messages in which Kesey strives to relay to the readers. Kesey did not write this novel for the sole purpose of entertainment, even though it was very entertaining, but did write it with the intent to show the readers many realities of life. First of all Kesey shows in this book that how people are perceived in society may not really be how that person is and that things are sometimes different than what they seem. Secondly Kesey sends the message that a single person can be significant and make a difference in other peoples lives, and finally Kesey shows readers that the spirit a person has can live on and make a difference even when that person is gone. One message relayed by Kesey is the fact that in society people who may be thought of as good people who are trying to help (nurse Ratched), and people who are considered bad people by society (McMurphy, Acutes), may in reality be the opposite of what they seem. Just because society puts a label on people doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.
In this novel Kesey shows the true evil of nurse Ratched. He shows in detail the way she mechanically tares the men’s courage, pride and eventually all of their manhood down to nothing. She even goes so far as to driving two men to suicide. Outside of the ward the Big Nurse is perceived as a good person and as someone who has dedicated her life to helping others. This view of nurse Ratched is reflected in the awards won by the ward that she has total control over and also by the Public relations man who guides a group of people through the ward telling them how nice of a place this is and how far these institutes have come. Readers of this book are show that in reality the Big Nurse is not the caring women that she is thought to be but that she is the opposite of that.
The opposite of this is shown in McMurphy. McMurphy is thought to be a bad person because he gambles, smokes, drinks, has sex, and was put in jail for violence. The readers of this novel realize that McMurphy is really trying to help the other men and is willing to sacrifice pain, suffering and eventually a lobotomy and death for the benefit of the rest of the men. McMurphy is not the bad person that the outside world sees. Secondly Kesey intends to show the reader that a single person is significant and can make a difference. A single person can inspire and motivate (McMurphy) and also oppress and control people(Nurse Ratched).
When McMurphy came onto the ward all of the Acutes worked against each other, never stood up for themselves and were terribly frightened of the Big Nurse. Nurse Ratched was strong enough to tare down the manhood of all of the men, put fear in them, and to totally control their lives. McMurphy, eventually with his own strength, single handily made the men realize that they aren’t too weak to take control over their lives and to stand up to Nurse Ratched. McMurphy inspired the men to the point were they took control back in their lives and eventually worked together, left the ward and or stood up to the no longer so powerful Nurse Ratched. McMurphy showed that it was not impossible to beat the seemingly invincible Big Nurse.
McMurphy helped change the lives of most of the men on the ward when it seemed they were in a situation were change was not possible. Kesey finally shows readers that even after a person is gone the strength and spirit of that person can live on and make a profound difference. McMurphy had so much strength and spirit and was so big in the eyes of the Acutes that even after he was dead his spirit stayed with the men. Nurse Ratched thought that by giving McMurphy a lobotomy and by taking away a man who was like a god to the Acutes she would regain all of her control and put fear back into the men. What she did not realize was all of McMurphy’s strength, courage and spirit would stay with the men.
McMurphy , even after he was gone, still gave the men the strength to stand up for themselves and not let the Big Nurse regain her control of the ward. Although Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest was very entertaining he also had many point to get across to the reader. Ken Kesey drove home many truths of life, such as, a single person can make a difference in other peoples lives, things aren’t always what they seem, and finally that a person’s spirit can live on and stay with people causing them to change in seemingly impossible situations. This book was written to be very insightful and also extremely entertaining. English Essays.