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Ken Kesey Essay

999 words - 4 pages

In novels, the people who write them usually write about things that they either lived through or seen. Then there are some writer that write novels on thing that fascinate them or on thing that they are fanatic with. Ken Kesey wrote the novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, which takes place in a mental facility in Oregon. The novel is about a group of men that are in a mental ward because they don't live the way society wants them to live and there fight against society. Ken Kesey was inspired by a job he had in a mental facility. Kesey wrote the novel because of his interest in drugs and insanity. Kesey book was a success because he experienced some of the staff he wrote about hands on. ...view middle of the document...

Also while working and writing Kesey started taking peyote. While on this drug he would "hold long conversation with patients, .........., in order to gain insight into their particular view of the world" ( Holland 5). To really describe about the way patients were tortured in mental wards Kesey had one of his friends give him a shock treatment. When Kesey was done with his first draft he gave it to Malcolm Cowley, a professor at Stanford to read; the professor said that the novel was "some of the most brilliant scenes I have ever read" ( He also said that Kesey had "passion like I've not seen in you young writers before" ( In 1962 after One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest was published Kesey received a lot of critical attention. The book was seen as bias because the narrator refers to the orderlies as "black boys" and "niggers." The book was also seen as a negative portrait of woman as being castrators. Kesey returned to Oregon to start writing his second novel, Sometimes a Great Notion. He finished this novel in 1964. After 1964 Kesey didn't really write that much. In 1966 Kesey stated "I'd rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph" and that "he was giving up writing to live his life" ( After the unsuccess of his second novel, Kesey bought a farm outside La Honda, California. During this time Kesey and many other people were in a group called "Merry Pranksters," they began a comic book that promoted drug use...

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