Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Analysis of an Analysis

Finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest today.

I am going to follow my friend and fellow blogger Maggie's advice and try to analyse the novels I read with a bit more depth. I realise that I have been a bit flippant in my comments...the initial purpose of this blog was to really get to the heart of each book I read and discuss why I liked or didn't like what I read as well.

SO....onto the analysis. (Funny strange that the first novel I'm "analysing" is a book about a mental asylum).

Really enjoyed this novel, if enjoyment can be applied to such a weighty subject matter. I felt that the themes of this novel (the struggle for power, the treatment of the mentally ill, respect, friendship) still resonate today.

This novel is set in the very early 1960s, but there was a feeling of timelessness to it as well...if it weren't for the cultural references, I feel the book could have been written today and still be relevant. I feel that THAT is key to my enjoyment of the novels I've been reading...if the themes presented in the book are still relevant to the world at large today, I will almost certainly be able to relate to it, and therefore enjoy it.

Kesey is a master of character description, and the reader can really see and hear the characters - I liked how McMurphy and Nurse Ratched were frequently described with "un-human" characteristics (both in very different ways...particularly her, with her mask-like features and stiff exterior). A good character for me is one that feels so real, I can feel emotion for (either good or bad) - and the "Big Nurse" was certainly one of those - I felt myself actually getting angry with her megalomaniacal, insidious lust for power against those whom she thought were powerless.

I very much want to see the film version...and see how true it is to the book. No mean feat.

Up next: Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth.


  1. Now that was an informative post. :)

    When I have my QE's, I'm going to review all the novels on here--you'll be my personal Cliff's!! ha!