Illustration of Nurse Ratched

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

by Ken Kesey

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 157

Write a short essay or story on what would happen if McMurphy took a job in a large corporation with a formal culture and a hierarchical structure. Be imaginative. Create characters who represent a variety of corporate types (the boss, the flatterer, the slacker, the busybody). Do not change McMurphy's personality, character, or behavior.

Research the definitions of various mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Was McMurphy mentally ill or just a maverick who didn't fit into structured society? Defend your point of view with facts and illustrations.

If you consider McMurphy to be a hero, how would you categorize Chief Bromden? Defend your points with facts and illustrations from the book, and compare him to other characters in the book.

Research current laws concerning mental illness and criminal prosecution. Explain how a person might be classified as "mentally ill" and prosecuted under current law, and explain whether or not McMurphy would have received the same sentencing today.

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