I am writing to assist you in your plight of indecision as to which books to keep on the library shelf. In my opinion, you should put into consideration the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It is a wonderful read. This book most definitely left an impact on me as I’m sure it has impacted others. It is the kind of book that lasts throughout the generations because of the message it sends to its audience. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is told from the perspective of Chief Bromden, who is a patient in a psychological ward, living under the harsh rules of Nurse Ratched.
All of the patients submit to her ways until McMurphy is admitted to their ward. He has a rebellious nature which encourages the others to regain their individuality that had been suppressed by the Big Nurse asserting her power over them in an attempt to thrust them into conformity. McMurphy eventually saw that he became their leader and continuously rebelled, though it put himself at risk. In the end, McMurphy made the ultimate sacrifice to finally end Nurse Ratched’s tyranny by attacking her and permanently breaking her power over them. In doing that he forfeited his own life.
I believe that McMurphy breaking the glass at the Nurses’ station is the best part of the book. It is the part where McMurphy consciously makes the decision to be the leader of the other patients and to act selflessly for their sake. In breaking the glass, it represents the control Nurse Ratched has over the patients. He reminds them that her power over them is always present, while simultaneously suggesting that their knowledge of her power renders that power breakable. The book says, “This was supposed to be her final victory over him, supposed to establish her rule once and for all.
But here he comes and he’s as big as a house! ” Instead of Nurse Ratched reclaiming control, her power over them weakened even further. This book is a real doozy. Any person can relate to it because everyone struggles with the standards set by society and holding onto their individuality. Although the situations are different, they represent something of a much larger scale. We are all mental patients trying to find ourselves under the pressures of the Combine and not be lost in the complacency of conformity. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest gives wonderful insight on the obstacle that societal pressures present for individualism.
Without a doubt, this novel should be kept on the library shelf. It would be beneficial to anyone who should happen to read it. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest could be a guiding light out of the darkness of conformity for some lost child in need of answers. There are many people out there who can’t seem to find their way, but I feel that this could inspire many of them to be more self-assured and see their individuality as something beautiful. I implore that this book is always kept close at hand for any young mind eager to be molded by the powerful symbolism blossoming throughout these pages. Sincerely, Cassie Burroughs