One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest

The thought of having to go to prison to serve a sentence is threatening. Many people find it hard. They would rather do anything that will keep them off the prison life. The novel One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey is a novel that revolves around the life of its main character Mc Murphy. It is narrated by one Bromden who beats all the odds when he pretends to be mute and dumb so as to spend time in the wards and get to know their dirty secrets. Mc Murphy was to go to prison and serve a sentence for being involved in gambling and battery. He cannot take going to jail and thus fakes being insane. He would rather serve his sentence in a mental hospital rather than being in prison. Rromden narrates of the happenings that revolve around the rebellious MC Murphy.

Plot of the novel

The novel is set in the ward of a psychiatric hospital. It focuses on the processes that go into a hospital's ward. It also puts much interest in the mind of human beings, their behaviors and principles that are associated with the human nature. In the novel, Mc Murphy is the main antagonist. Bromden narrates how Mc Murphy upsets the nurse’s routine in his ward. He harasses nurses and leads to struggles between the nurses and the patients. In one event, he sneaks out of the ward at night and comes back with two prostitutes. He tips one to go and seduce Billy, who was a young boy and had little experience with women. He also breaks into the nurses offices and takes some syrup from the office. They, however, fall asleep and don’t remember to clean up their mess. The nurse on the day shift comes in and found Billy arms in arms with the prostitute. This incident leads to Billy panicking and taking up his own life by cutting his throat with a blade. Mc Murphy is summoned for the incident and he assaults the nurse. The nurse has to stay away for some weeks that greatly affect her patients.


Despite the novel being interesting, it faces a lot of negative criticism. It is banned from being used in many education systems. Bromden, who has narrated many things and the darkest secrets of many wards, has been in the hospital since the end of the Second World War. He pretends to be mute and deaf and thus sees many things and people think that he cannot say them. The novel has won many awards.