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Title: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Author: Ken Kesey
Date of publication:1962 Authors Nationality: American
I. List and describe 4 main characters: 2-3 sentences per character.
1.Randall McMurphy: A red headed Irish man sent to the asylum because of his aggressive
behavior. Mcmurphy sees the lack of living in the ward, so he decides that it is his duty to liven
things up a bit.
2. Chief Bromden: Chief Bromden is the narrator of this story and the person that this
story is mainly about. The chief lived most of his life having people to think he’s deaf and dumb.
He hadn’t talk to anyone for 15 years until McMurphy came along and changed his life for ever.
3. Billy Bibbit: A stuttering man who volunteered to be in the asylum looking for a cure
for himself. He then runs into Randall McMurphy and his life is also changed for ever and in the
end brought to an untimely halt.
4. Nurse Ratched: The nurse that runs the ward and makes sure everything is fine tuned
and precise. Chief Bromden describes her as having a network of wires that run throughout the
ward controlling everything and everybody. Nurse Ratched and McMurphy have it out on several
II. List and describe 4 minor characters: 2-3 sentences per character.
1. The Black Boys: Three of the nurses little helpers that go around and make sure
everyone is doing what they’re scheduled to do. They cause a lot of trouble with all the patients
2. The doctor: Another of Ratchets henchmen. She won’t allow him to think for himself
until McMurphy come in and changes the way the doctor thinks.
3. Harding: Another one of the patients on the ward. He’s not to sure of the motives
behind Randall McMurphy.
4. Candy: An old friend of McMurphy’s who takes the guys on a fishing trip and the party
to end the book and Billy Bibbits life. Candy is considered to be a whore.
III. List and describe 3 important settings: 2-3 sentences each.
1. The day room: This is where most of the book takes place. It’s not a very pleasant place
with the patients staring off into blank space with monotone background music that they’ve all
learned to ignore.
2. The game room: This is where Randall hustles the patients out of cigarettes while
playing cards and gambling on everything. This room was once used as a storage room before
McMurphy decided to open it up as a game room.
3. The fishing boat: This is where the men are mentally transferred from “rabbits” to men.
They go fishing and experience for themselves that deep down inside they are all still men.
Although they are still men with some problems.
IV. Plot Summary: Write three paragraphs which summarize the main action and story.
This is the story of how one man can show a mass of people that have lost all hope in
themselves to look deep down and bring back the men that they where at one time. Randall
McMurphy, the con-man that he is was able to take the lives of these pathetic asylum patients and
show them all that they are still great people who just got sidetracked somewhere along the road
of life. In the beginning of the story, the patients did nothing but follow the nurses orders and go
about their same monotonous schedule day in and day out.
Then came Randall McMurphy, a tough guy from the work farms, who was raised to fight
for his honor and to cheat his way through life as a hustler. He took these worthless people and
slowly taught them to laugh again and how to defy people for what is right and because you
believe something different then what you’ve been told. He taught them to live. Sure, as he did it
he collected some of their money through gambling and other ways, but he felt that it was just the
price they paid for so much joy back in these peoples lives. The patients didn’t particularly mind
either. They felt that the small amount McMurphy was taking was well worth what he was giving.
In the end it finally took a fishing trip and one last party to make the patients realize that
they where still men inside. Most of the acute patients decided to leave the ward and venture off
into the world by themselves. Chief Bromden felt that there would be one more thing that
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Randle McMurphy, Nurse Ratched, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
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