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GCSE: Ken Kesey

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  1. Compare the ways in which psychiatric institutions and mental illness are presented in Barker's 'Regeneration' and Kesey's 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'.

    McMurphy seems to suppose that the staff in a mental institution will be a soft touch when set against those whom he encountered in his former prison regime, and he also supposes that they hospital ward will be more to his liking. This assumption drives McMurphy to rebel against the figurehead of power in the novel, Nurse Ratched, for the sheer enjoyment acquired from belittling a feared authoritarian. 'Sometimes he slept till eight o'clock. She would reprimand him without heat at all, and he would stand and listen until she was finished and then destroy her whole effect by asking something like did she wear a B cup, he wondered, or a C cup, of any ol' cup at all.'

    • Word count: 4304

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