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AS and A Level: Ken Kesey

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  1. One Flew over the Cuckoo's nest.How does Kesey present McMurphy's growing influence on the ward and hint at the novel's conclusion in the passage 'the vote is closed'...'crazy as loons' (p162-5)?

    has lost. McMurphy appears to be turning into his nemesis. I think that this shows, through the Chief's inherent aversion to authority, just how much Mac has. Very interestingly, Bromden describes McMurphy as 'standing over me in the mist'. This cannot be in a physical way, since the Chief is exceptionally tall, but relates, I think, to the way the Chief describes size as a product of authority (his father 'shrunk' as his mother 'grew' when their village was sold).

    • Word count: 1209
  2. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest" - In what ways and to what effect does Kesey present Mcmurphy as a Christ-figure?

    This is just like how Christ taught his disciples to be self-sufficient in preparation for his death. The fishing trip is a transformative event for the patients, Mcmurphy is like Christ leading his disciples to sea to strengthen and test their faith in his methods and as a result they return from their journey changed men, worthy of respect. This transformation is due to the patients removal from Nurse Ratched's control. Freed from her domineering policies, the patients can achieve a sense of self worth that she denies them. Another Christ like image in the novel, just as Jesus could make blind men see and lame men walk again, Mcmurphy cures Bromden of his deafness and dumbness.

    • Word count: 1245
  3. How gender stereotypes in regard to control, are reversed in the novel "One flew over the cuckoos nest" by Ken Kesey.

    Ken Keseys's novel "One flew over the cuckoos nest" although written in 1962- a year before the publication of "The feminine mystique"- emanated the popular ideology of the woman's mission for equality at the time. He constructs a microcosm of the 1960's American society, based within the confines of a mental institution. This reflection of society challenges the assertion of gender-based control, where the tyrannical female oligarchy Nurse Ratched, manipulates and oppresses the pusillanimous chicken-hearted men, with her comparably totalitarian-esque regime.

    • Word count: 1715
  4. The Character of Nurse Ratched in "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest".

    The Nurse also has a similar power in the ward as she has total control of the patients actions and she watches their every move. The power struggle between the Nurse and McMurphy is also prevalent as although the Nurse wants to be in total control, she is often defeated by McMurphy who is also a very powerful character. This desire to control and manipulate contributes to the Nurse?s image as a villain and emphasises her malevolent nature. Another way in which Kesey emphasises the Nurses image as a villain is through her physical description.

    • Word count: 1099

Conclusion analysis

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  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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