One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest-Author Perspective

Writing Task

“What was Kesey’s purpose for writing from the perspective of an inmate? What effect does this technique have on the text”

Ken Kesey had a main purpose as to why he wrote the book One Flew Over The Cuckoos from the perspective of an inmate. It was used to convey an emotion of sympathy towards the inmate from an audience’s perspective.

In comparison to if the book was narrated my Nurse Ratched, it would be a very different perspective and would most probably be a whole different story all together. This is because Nurse Ratched is conveyed as the evil person in the novel. Her story would be more along the lines of the ward being a sort of heaven to her as she is always in control, as well as in control of the inmates on the ward.

If the novel was written from the perspective of McMurphy, it would combine Chief Bromden’s story about being “trapped” within the ward but would also see his perspective of the ward being that it is a “pecking party”. This would include his view of the patients being conveyed as “robots” which are in a mechanical world.

Although, as the text is written from the perspective of Chief Broom, he tells his story as a solemn and glum life that he leads.   He states that he wants to be free from the “fog” which leads the audience to feel sympathy and empathy towards the inmates, in particular Chief Broom. As the novel goes into detail about rape and other diplomatic and racial issues at the time of in which the novel was written, we put ourselves in the inmates shoes and think “What would we feel?” and how would we react to these issues.

The effect that the technique has on the text is that it gives the text a sad and sombre tone to it. It is not a happy story as it is about the life of “A Cuckoos Nest” and the people in it leading back to the sympathetic audience perspective.