Teacher Guide

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Lesson Plan

Introduction to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

In the early 1960s, Ken Kesey had just received his master's degree in writing from Stanford University. At Stanford, he had also participated in the testing of new psychedelic drugs, including LSD, and worked nights as an aide on the psychiatric ward at the Menlo Park Veterans' Hospital. Through these experiences, he was inspired to write One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which tells the story of male patients on a ward in an Oregon mental hospital.

The novel is narrated by Chief Bromden, a man of mixed Native American and white heritage, who has schizophrenia and often narrates his experiences with a surreal, delusional, psychedelic flair. Bromden, who has lived on the ward since...

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