The book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) tells about Randle Patrick McMurphy who has been transferred from prison to mental hospital because he decides to declare himself insane so he would be transferred and so he avoids the work at prison. R.P. McMurphy is 35-year-old and he has never been married. He was charged from gambling, and a statutory rape, but he was never convicted from that sue. And that was the ground why he was arrested and took into custody. R.P. McMurphy is a very colourful person, he laughs a lot and he doesn’t care about rules eg. at the insane asylum where acutes and cronics are sorted into two groups and they aren’t in contact. But R.P. McMurphy doesn’t care he just goes and shakes everyone’s hands, even though some patients are unable to move their arms. He kinda mixes them up. And because of that act Nurse Ratched reminds him that it’s forbidden. And from the early beginning R.P. McMurphy and Nurse Ratched are arguing. And that is going on almost all time of this story, but Nurse Ratched has an ace in her sleeve for McMurphy in the end..
R.P.McMurphy is not really mentally insane, he just plays his role to avoid the work. And because he hasn’t never been diagnosed to have a mental deficiency he is on a probation. That’s how the doctors can tell is he capable to do work or does he have to be locked into four white-walls. R.P. McMurphy plays he cards well and he avoids the work. So now he can enjoy his luxury time at the “full-service hotel”. And because of his personality he questions Nurse Ratched’s authority. Why he does that? Because they have those daily meetings with a doctor so they could talk about their and others problems and maybe solve them. But Nurse Ratched has kind a little shade of sarcasm in her every sentence and with that she manipulates the patients and so she makes herself a “dictator” and because of that R.P. McMurphy feels that he and all the others are not treated equally. So he wants to make a change and starts to raise anarchy at the section. R.P. McMurphy’s goal is to manage to get some of the patients to fight their back, so they wouldn’t be so easily controllable. But it is futile to part-time.
McMurphy has some Irish-background and due that he enjoys a large amount of beverages. And I think his aggressive style comes from that background. McMurphy also tries once to get some of the boys to escape from the town to have a pint o’ beer and watch the game. But the support from other wasn’t so huge. McMurphy was willing to escape to the town because he hadn’t been there for a long time. The patients can only be at the courtyard and play basketball and other games. But that’s not McMurphy’s greatest interest. He’s kinda a traveller so he can’t hold still for a long time. So he has to accept to play blackjack with other mates.
McMurphy makes a tight friendship with Chief Bromden whose mute-deaf half-Indian. He teaches him to play basketball and some other things. I think McMurphy sees at this 6 ft 10 tall giant something more than his appearance. I think McMurphy was glad afterwards that he made friendship with him, I’m not telling more from that subject because you may find it yourself when you read this novel.
I myself find R.P. McMurphy very interesting cause he has the blink in his eye and his always doing something unexpected. So it was nice to read this book because of this colourful character who gave me a couple laughs and brought the sun to my rainy days. R.P. McMurphy is very social person and that was the point what I found attractive.
Ten challenging words from the novel
- inadequacy ~ riittämättömyys
- synthetic opiate ~ synteettinen opiaatti
- scatterbrain ~ törppö
- griddle ~ muurinpohjapannu
- epileptic ~ epileptikko
- schematic ~ kaavamainen
- sophisticated ~ hienostunut
- privilege ~ etuoikeus
- grimacing ~ irvistäen
- strides ~ harppauksin
Ken Kesey. 1962. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.