Talk:One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (novel)

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could you include a link to a site that would further explain what a peckin party is an why it happens please

The Synopsis section makes references to the shower panel, which was in the movie. In the book, the control panel was more of a Punch card Computer than controlled the ward, and was located in the Nurses Station; not the shower room as said in the Synopsis. (05 - 05 - 12 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:23, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

The control panel in the book was a huge console that controlled the water in the no-longer-used hydrotherapy room, the room the patients used as a game room. It's different from the nurse's control console in her little station. Czolgolz (talk) 00:43, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Following Czolgolz, it is referred to in the novel as the "tub room" not the shower room. I am changing "shower room" to "defunct hydrotherapy treatment room" in the synopsis.IcehouseCover (talk) 21:56, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Nurse Ratched[edit]

I just noticed that Nurse Ratched doesn't have an entry in the Characters section (neither as main character or as staff member). Can someone add her? AbCarter 10:14, 6 september 2006 (CET)

She actually has her own individual article. Czolgolz 20:23, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
That doesn't mean she shouldn't be mentioned here. Pele Merengue 05:53, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Totally unacceptable plagiarism on this page[edit]

The entire Themes section is lifted directly from, word-for-word. Whomever added that content didn't even bother citing SparkNotes, let alone obtaining permission. That's lame. I'm deleting the entire section right now. --Sean Parmelee 23:02, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for noticing and taking care of it. Czolgolz 19:31, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


I was wondering if it would be a good idea to put an explanation of the title in the article, I saw the movie but haven't read the book. Maybe somebody who has could just say a sentence about where it comes from? --yoshi 00:46, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

It's in the article about the book. --M1ss1ontomars2k4 | T | C | @ 04:15, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

---The title of the book is explained on the first page of this has to do with a nursery rhyme about three flew east, "one flew west, one flew over the cuckoos nest"

I understand that the name of the book was taken from the poem, but WHY? what made it so special? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I would desperatley like to know why the book/film 'One flew over the Cukoo's nest' why does it have this title what does it mean and represent??? I know it has something to do with an old American rhyme but what does the rhyme mean? Or is it something to do with the behaviour of the cukoo bird, for laying its eggs in other birds nests, therefore them being in the wrong place? Or is it that when we use the word cukoo we associate it with someone being crazy? cukoo's nest being the Institute/hospital? This really has been bugging me for some time I've seen the film several times and read the book I even saw the stage production at the Alexander Theatre in Birmingham, England thsi year. Please help if you know.

Retrieved from "" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:02, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Its from a poem, one that Cheif Bromden's grandmother used to sing to him. ..."three geese in a flock. One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cukoo's nest...." and yknow im not entirely certain on the symbolism, but since Chief Bromden is the nararator, i think it has to do with his personal journey. He got lost, ended in a psych ward, robbed of his humanity, but regains it, thanks to mcmurphy, and when he left, "Iv been gone a long time." Sorta up, out, and over the cuckoo's nest. If that makes any sense? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:39, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

New start: novel / movie / disambig on the main entry?[edit]

I can not read this talk page. Two polls about the same subject, and the second one is reallly difficult to interpret what the votes want. I can not see how this conclusion [1] can be considered to be reached. Btw, I think the subject should be discussed before polling. I suggest we start from the top, and archive the old stuff to get a more readable talk page.

So, what are the objectives for having the novel, movie or the disambig page on the main entry? My personal take is the novel should have it. The novel and the movie are both very well-known, but the novel is the original work that the movie is based on. // Habj 20:00, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

The old, difficult to interpret discussion on the topic is now archived. // Habj 20:41, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

I would desperatley like to know why the book/film 'One flew over the Cukoo's nest' why does it have this title what does it mean and represent??? I know it has something to do with an old American rhyme but what does the rhyme mean? Or is it something to do with the behaviour of the cukoo bird, for laying its eggs in other birds nests, therefore them being in the wrong place? Or is it that when we use the word cukoo we associate it with someone being crazy? cukoo's nest being the Institute/hospital? This really has been bugging me for some time I've seen the film several times and read the book I even saw the stage production at the Alexander Theatre in Birmingham, England thsi year. Please help if you know.

Retrieved from ""


I think it would be a good idea, if we all included our favorite quotes from the book. brooo —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:37, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

That's not really a standard wikipedia practice. Czolgolz (talk) 12:02, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Chief Bromden[edit]

Should the Cheif be in the characters section? I think probably heshould be up with RP MacMurphy Eldonkeyo 04:16, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Added. --Sean Parmelee 23:01, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I think McMurphy and Chief should relocated into their respective categories but placed first in each category because of their importance. What do you think? UrbenLegend 20:55, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Putting McMurphy and Chief in their respective categories sounds good to me. - Im.a.lumberjack 19:18, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Chief's condition[edit]

I have just finished reading this book, and i don't recall there even being a confirmation, or even a hint, that Chief is a Skictzophrenic (sp?) since i cannot recall for sure, i will leave it as is, but i would appreciate someone confirming this fact.

Added. --0beron 30 August 2006

The fact that the Chief was a normal young man who suddenly, after the death of his father, started suffering from hallucinations, makes him seem somewhat schizophrenic. As to a real diagnosis, that remains to be seen. Czolgolz 00:38, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Ive read the book and had no doubt in my mind that chief suffered terribly. I think he had major hallucinations ( such as the fog or the machinery that he saw the one night.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the fog is his reminiscent memory from WWII.J.S.Lucindy (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 04:45, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Working as an orderly?[edit]

Both the Ken Kesey and the Counterculture articles say Kesey volunteered as a subject at Menlo Park, not worked as an orderly. I can't verify which is true, so I'm not going to edit, but can anyone else find a credible source? Livitup 03:48, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

we may never know for sure, i've heard both. kesey himself isn't really a reliable source, i think he was a little crazy himself.-- 12:58, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Try this out, page 275: Shorter, Edward (1997). A history of psychiatry : from the era of the asylum to the age of Prozac. New York : John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 047115749X. 

See —Preceding unsigned comment added by Glassjos (talkcontribs) 19:41, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I think he did both. We know for sure that he worked within a mental asylum (Menlo Park);

"[I] had nothing to do but a little mopping and buffing, check the wards every forty-five minutes with a flashlight, be coherent to the night nurse stopping by on her hourly rounds, write my novel and talk to the sleepless nuts" (Preface to Ken Kesey's Garage Sale)

Several critics (such as Bloom & Barry) also claim that he took psychotropic drugs and underwent ECT to gain a deeper insight into their effects. 21:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Nurse Ratched[edit]

There should be a small abstract of Nurse Ratched's character in the characters section, with a "See Nurse Ratched for more information" at the end. - Im.a.lumberjack 19:15, 19 March 2007 (UTC)


Should we consider a Themes section? There is certainly a large amount of pertinent information that isn't currently in the article. - Im.a.lumberjack 19:19, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Style problem, commentary throughout article[edit]

This article isn't in the right style. There's a bunch of interpretive comments throughout it. For instance, McMurphy's initials are "R.P.M" and it says he brings about "many revolutions." It looks like the article was lifted from somewhere else. --Howdybob 00:46, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Subjective POV presented as fact[edit]

The whole Christ allusion description in the plot summary section is totally subjective and interpretive and has no place in a synopsis, especially when presented in an empirical manner. To be included (if at all) it should be in a separate section labelled /analysis AND include critical or primary sources to back it up, not presented as fact by an anonymous editor. This subjective POV stance also extends to claiming Nurse Ratched wanted Billy Bibbit to commit suicide. At no point is this made implicit or explicit in the book, just that she callously and unprofessionally wanted to cause him guilt and fear to reclaim power over him. His suicide is what causes her to LOSE control, not reclaim it. Similar arguments can be levied at the passage about The Chief euthanising MacMurphy. Reading on this whole artice reads like somebody's bad English dissertation and is full of psuedo-academic and personal interpretation over fact and content and is not an encyclopedic article at all. (unsigned)

Also: "Harding is an intelligent, good-looking man who is ashamed of his repressed homosexuality."
"He frightens McMurphy by talking about the people who 'need [McMurphy] to see them,' that is, the people who need McMurphy to stand up for them."
...lolwut? These sound like bullshit to me, but I'm putting "citation needed" for a while in case some one can back them up BlueRaja (talk) 07:10, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Narrative style and tense[edit]

I'd like to see some explanation for why the book shifts from present to past tense in several places. I couldn't understand the pattern when I read it. Yeanold Viskersenn 23:48, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, the narrator has schizophrenia for one thing. It seems to me that he uses past tense when talking about McMurphy or his own youth, and present tense when he's describing daily life on the ward. Anyone else have an opinion? Czolgolz 03:52, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Note that Chief Bromden is half-Indian, so the irregular use of tenses might be a way to portray his corrupted grammar. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kklc1990 (talkcontribs) 04:50, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Czolgolz, but would also add that the use of tenses is a specific literary device deliberately employed. Examining the transitions of tense reveals artful quality of the story.IcehouseCover (talk) 02:03, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

The use of tense has nothing to do with "corrupted grammar" or schizophrenia. Present tense is employed through out the book to jar the reader, for the effect of immediacy of content and importance. Kesey is hitting the reader in the face with a bucket of cold water. The reader is forced to sit up and pay attention. In those sections, Bromden is more alive, more in the moment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Racist and sexist?[edit]

Where is the evidence that McMurphy is racist and sexist?

On p.229, in the shower scene, McMurphy calls Washington a "Goddamned Motherf***ing N*****"(uncensored in text) Evidence for Racism Bobokapi (talk) 23:33, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

While that is definitely a sign of racism, it was a different time - calling a black person a nigger could reflect on your hatred of that person or a hatred of all black people. It's still too speculative, however, to declare that he has anything against black people. - A Link to the Past (talk) 03:51, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
He doesn't have anything against black people in general, the only reason he said it was because he wanted to get under the skin of the male nurses, who had been abusing their power. The same thing applies to your claim that he's sexist; he doesn't hate women, just Nurse Ratched, and so he feigns misogyny in order to provoke her and thus weaken her power over the other patients. --Heslopian (talk) 03:11, 4 January 2009 (UTC)


In my Penguin Modern Classics edition of this novel (ISBN 0-141-18788-3), it has several sketches in it, all by Ken Kesey. I think a section on these sketches might be of some importance. Troubleshooter 22:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)


In the introduction there is that not about the books epigraph. I believe that doesn't belong in the introduction of the article as it doesn't help summarize the rest of the article and should be removed. Thanks. Marlith T/C 19:40, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Cuckoo nest.jpg[edit]

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Image:Cuckoo nest.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 20:38, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Inappropriate Categorisation?[edit]

This novel appears on the list at Pedophilia and child sexual abuse in fiction (girls), and I can't for the life of me work out why. Anyone have any idea? Faerie Queene (talk) 00:33, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

McMurphy had been previously arrested for sexual intercourse with a 15 year old girl, though it had been consentual and she refused to press charges. Czolgolz (talk) 20:38, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

There is also a specific incident where Nurse Ratched attempts to get responses in group therapy, resulting in multiple patients admitting to pedophilia and incest.IcehouseCover (talk) 02:04, 27 April 2015 (UTC)


Some of the plot of the book is confused with the plot of the movie. I don't have time to read the whole book now, but I do remember that in the book McMurphy tricks the Chief into revealing that he can hear, while in the movie the Chief reveals that fact to McMurphy on his own. I think the scene of McMurphy trying to lift the shower room control panel was in the movie and not in the book, but I am not sure.

McMurphy did try to lift the shower control panel in the book in an effort to convince the inmates that they should resist, even if it seems hopeless. In the book, McMurphy doesn't exactly trick the Chief into revealing he's not deaf, he just let's him know early on that he know's the Chief is acting. The Chief still reveals that he can hear on his own, it just comes as no surprise to McMurphy. Czolgolz (talk) 20:35, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Cheswick's Death[edit]

Someone said Cheswick's death wasn't a suicide, but it's really implied that it was. He tells McMurphy how disappointed he is that McMurphy has decided to toe the line, dives into the pool, and wedges his fingers into the grate. McMurphy, the lifeguard, and the aides can't pull him out and he drowns. When Billy kills himself, the nurse blames McMurphy for Cheswick's death as well. I really think it was suicide. Anyone else have any thoughts? Czolgolz (talk) 14:05, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree that Cheswick's death is suicide. The inclusion of the incident alone suggest parallel importance to the structure of the narrative, and foreshadows future death.IcehouseCover (talk) 02:07, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

This article was recently moved from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, citing the guideline WP:NC. I believe this to be a misapplication of the guideline. As can be plainly seen on the image of the article cover, Over is the correct capitalization. See also how the whole rest of the world capitalizes. I believe the correct capitalization of a work of literature to take primacy to a general (which after all, means not every case) Wikipedia naming convention. --JayHenry (talk) 22:59, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Even if all those Sites capitalize "over",it still should be uncapitalized,per proper English rules. XxJoshuaxX (talk) 23:02, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
You're confusing English rules with general conventions. That's a general convention that (clearly) does not apply to this specific case. At any rate, it's not Wikipedia's job to "correct" Ken Kesey's "mistake". --JayHenry (talk) 23:06, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Still,it's not proper English to capitalize "over". XxJoshuaxX (talk) 23:12, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Joshua, the original title of the work (and therefore what was intended by the author) takes precedence over what is proper English. Consider it a quirk much in the same way that characterizes Love and Freindship or The Pursuit of Happyness. This page should definitely be moved back. María (habla conmigo) 00:48, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
The official name comes before English? Not according to WP:NC. XxJoshuaxX (talk) 01:19, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
WP:NC does not pertain to works of fiction in which an author obviously intended a specific usage of capitalization. Again, see the examples I have already given in regards to spelling; it's not correct, but it's what was intended. As an English major, I tend towards "picky", as well, but an absolutist take does not apply to this argument, I'm afraid. María (habla conmigo) 01:39, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) I am copying my comment about this from the posting at WP:WikiProject Films: Well, it appears that the person who did the move cited WP:NC as the reason for the move, however, the section on that page that directs "over" to be a lowercase word is only in the section Wikipedia:NC#Album and song titles and band names. Meanwhile, Wikipedia:NC#Books - literary works states Use the title of the work as the article's title, following all applicable general conventions. WP:NC-BK#Capitalization says that Book titles, like names of other works, are exempt from "lowercase second and subsequent words". The actual title of this book, and the resulting film, is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

I believe this move was unwarranted and both the book and film articles should be restored to the capitalization used by the author and publisher. As JayHenry said, it's not our job to correct Ken Kesey's grammar mistake. Wildhartlivie (talk) 02:32, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

See move discussion: [2] which appears to have been made against consensus. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 04:11, 21 July 2008 (UTC).
This move was ridiculous on its face, and disruptive at that. The book's actual title is the controlling factor here, not rules or grammar or the Wikipedian stylebook. The pages need to be moved back, ASAP. Ed Fitzgerald (unfutz) (talk / cont) 05:16, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree that all the articles, book, movie, and play, should be moved back. Oh, and by the way, Joshua, not that it matters, but do you think it's correct English to capitalize "Flew", "Cuckoo's" and "Nest"? --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 12:01, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't mean to sound rude here, but the reasons for capitalizalizing "Over" presented here are completely invalid.
  • JayHenry, your reason is that "over" should be capitalized because the author and many other places capitalize "over". Unfortunately, that reason does not override WP:CAPS's guideline on not capitalizing prepositions under five letters long. Also, WP:CAPS clearly says "Because credibility is a primary objective in the creation of any reference work, and because Wikipedia strives to become a leading (if not the leading) reference work in its genre, formality and an adherence to conventions widely used in the genre are critically important to credibility." If we allowed every article do be named as the rest of the world does, Bridge over Troubled Water would be Bridge Over Troubled Water, Bell Hooks would be bell hooks, Danah Boyd would be danah boyd, K.D. Lang would be k.d. lang, WALL-E would be WALL·E, and the list goes on. None of these alternate spellings are correct, because Wikipedia is a reference work, not a reflection of popular misspellings. WP:COMMONNAME does not override the Manual of Style.
  • Yllosubmarine, it does not matter what the author intended. The Manual of Style must be followed for credibility.
  • Wildhartlivie, your quote from WP:NC-BK#Capitalization does not apply here. You are mistaking "exempt from "lowercase second and subsequent words"" for a capitalization guideline. This is a guideline for phrases from books, not the actual books themselves. WP:NC-BK even lists WP:CAPS as the main article for book capitalization, which as stated before, strongly supports not capitalizing "over".
  • Ed Fitzgerald, your claim is that book's actual title is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The actual title can be spelled many ways, such as One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, One flew over the cuckoo's nest, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, etc. The Manual of Style exists to determine which spelling is right, and consensus has already determined that prepositions under five letters shouldn't be capitalized in book titles, despite the author's spelling of the book.
Xnux the Echidna 17:16, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't know why this absolutism take on the MOS has reared its ugly head, but Xnux, look: there is an exception to every rule. The oft-quoted WP:NC does not pertain specifically to book titles and therefore a majority of your arguments do not apply. The original published title is correct. The original intent of the author (and what has been for forty years adopted by various adaptations, critics and scholars) is therefore correct. This has already been resolved, and correctly, I believe; the overwhelming consensus is that "Over" is correct. María (habla conmigo) 17:40, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
I am not quoting WP:NC, I am quoting WP:CAPS, because WP:CAPS deals with works with all capital letters. The original printed title is not necessarily incorrect, it just does not reflect Wikipedia's all caps guidelines which already have been determined through consensus. The original intent of the author cannot be used, otherwise, Wikipedia would be riddled with capitalization inconsistencies simply because of "intent". Look at Bridge over Troubled Water, Live from the Fall, Long Road out of Eden, "She's out of My Life", etc. The spellings of these titles all go against common spelling (the common spelling of Bridge Over Troubled Water has been used almost as long as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). The reason for doing so is that the so-called "exception to every rule" is not present in these titles. A valid exception to the five-letter-or-under preposition capitalization rule would be "Carry On Wayward Son", in which the normally-used-as-preposition word "On" is being capitalized because of its use as an adverb. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is a perfectally acceptable spelling, it is strongly supported by WP:CAPS, and it the spelling Wikipedia should use, not necessarily what the rest of the world should. Xnux the Echidna 18:05, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
WP:CAPS is not policy. Note the box at the top of the page that states it "is a generally accepted standard that editors should follow, though it should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception." This article and ones related to it are obviously an exception. María (habla conmigo) 18:11, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
These articles are not exceptions. There already has been discussion about conforming to author's capitalization wishes here, here, here, and here. All of the discussions eventually led to giving the articles names that do not conform with the author's wishes due to Wikipedia having different capitalization rules. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is certainly not exempt from these rules. Xnux the Echidna 18:22, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

I interpret the guideline exactly the opposite as you. "Because credibility is a primary objective in the creation of any reference work, and because Wikipedia strives to become a leading (if not the leading) reference work in its genre, formality and an adherence to conventions widely used in the genre are critically important to credibility." Yeah, absolutely. It's precisely because credibility is our objective that we refer to this work with the title given to it by its author. This is a work of literature. What happened at the K.D. Lang article is irrelevant. Thanks to EyeSerene for resolving this. --JayHenry (talk) 23:21, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

JayHenry, you believe that just because the author and other people capitalize the word "over" frequently makes it a credible reason to capitalize "over" in the Wikipedia article. This is completely false, as Wikipedia does not go off of popular spellings. Wikipedia goes off of rules taken from The Chicago Manual of Style, Fowler's Modern English Usage, and other reference works which have been integrated into WP:CAPS. Kesey was not following these guidelines when he entered his spelling of the book, and therefore his capitalization cannot be more credible than WP:CAPS.
On a side note, the capitalization of K.D. Lang's article name can be related to this one: both "k.d. lang" and other sources commonly spell her name without caps, yet K.D. Lang is capitalized on Wikipedia due to the Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(trademarks)#Trademarks_that_begin_with_a_lowercase_letter rules. It goes against popular spelling, but Wikipedia has to go against popular spelling sometimes in order to be a credible reference work. Xnux the Echidna 02:54, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
WP:CAPS says "In general, [etc, etc, etc]". Xnux, in general, sure. But it's not a law. And this is the perfect example of an exception to a general rule. Let's think about this: Ken Kesey's spelling of Ken Kesey's book cannot be more credible than some "rule" that Wikipedians created based off the Chicago Manual of Style (which says to use sentence case!!) and Fowler's and other random sources? I submit that obviously Ken Kesey's spelling of Ken Kesey's book is more credible than this arbitrary hodge podge of guidelines. If we think our guidelines are telling us that Ken Kesey's spelling of Ken Kesey's book is incorrect, if we think our guidelines are telling us to go around and rewrite literature, then that's probably a good sign that we wrote a stupid guideline and need to change it. Good thing for WP:IAR, so we can do what obviously makes sense, instead of following a poor guideline. At any rate, this appears to be resolved. Best wishes. --JayHenry (talk) 03:38, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I've been trying to be nice here, but I have to say it: your "reasoning" is horribly, horribly wrong; it is a bunch of misinterpreted reasons thrown together. The Chicago Manual of Style does not recommend sentence case for titles of books (that's for phrases named after books), it recommends title case for books (if the book was spelled in sentence case, it would be one flew over the cuckoo's nest, not One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). Anyways, we are not rewriting literature, we are not renaming the title, we are not going against the author's wishes or anything of that sort. Wikipedia is merely using WP:CAPS to determine which capitalization of the title to use. This capitalization of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest isn't changing the title at all; all of the integrity of the title is preserved with the sacrifice of going against a popular spelling of the book that doesn't reflect our capitalization rules anyway. If our capitalization rules are stupid, then I suppose Wikipedians are stupid too, because we determined them, and they have been used for many, many articles. I mean, see Bridge over Troubled Water and Crash: Mind over Mutant: our capitalization goes against popular spellings for these titles too. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest needs to have the article name changed to be consistent with the guidelines and other articles with lowercase "over"s, and right now the only thing preventing that from happening are Wikipedians with flawed logic. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Xnux the Echidna 04:09, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Nope, Wikipedians are not stupid. We wrote "In general" in WP:CAPS, meaning that we wrote the "rule" to allow for exceptions, and we also wrote WP:IAR in case people forgot that sometimes all the rules have exceptions. --JayHenry (talk) 04:15, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Except the thing is, we don't need to allow an exception for this article. There are plenty of reasons for not capitalizing "over" (official capitalization rules, consistency with other articles, Wikipedia's credibility, etc.) that is does not make sense to go against the established rules. The only thing going against this is that Kesey's spelling is very common, except as explained above is not applicable in Wikipedia's article about the book. With this in mind, going against the guidelines for capitalization just for that reason isn't even helping the encyclopedia. Now, if the book's title was It Flew Over Through the Cuckoo's Nest, then that would be a valid exception to the rule, since "Over" is being used as an adverb rather than a preposition. However, in the case of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, there just isn't enough going for capitalizing "over". This needs to be moved back. Xnux the Echidna 04:25, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
You've actually hit on exactly the reason that consensus on this article disagrees with you. It's not your call to say what Kesey intended this sentence to mean. What we do know is that he intended Over to be capitalized. Please, this is a work of literature. His intent matters. That's really all there is to it. --JayHenry (talk) 04:31, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
First of all, you are wrong: "over" in this case is definitely a preposition. If "over" was an adverb, then "One Flew Over" and "The Cuckoo's Nest" would be two random clauses that aren't linked together, and this is certainly not the case. Secondly, I seem to be unable to convince you that Kesey's intent does not override Wikipedia's capitalization guidelines, but I'll say it again: no matter what the author intends the capitalization to be, Wikipedia's capitalization guidelines say to go ahead and have certain words capitalized and not capitalized (in this case, "over" is a word that shouldn't be capitalized). This has already been established in WP:CAPS, now can we please change the article back to its appropriate title? Xnux the Echidna 04:44, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia's capitalization guidelines also allow for exceptions. The difference between views is that there's a consensus to allow for an exception because this is an important work of literature where the author's intent matters as agreed upon by editors familiar with the work, and there's not a consensus for your view to disallow an exception. Both are allowed by the guideline, but consensus is for the exception. I'm sorry that we were unable to reach agreement. This has already been resolved anyways. Best wishes and happy reading! --JayHenry (talk) 05:15, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

This is a ridiculous conversation of the type that Wikipedia excels at. Most (but not all) sources capitalize "Over". Take a browse of secondary-source books at Google for the proof. If you want to argue what kind of word "over" is in the sentence, consider the parallelism in the original rhyme: "one flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo's nest". "Over" takes a strong accent and that's one of the principle reasons you capitalize it in a title. Hi Jay! Whiskeydog (talk) 04:15, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

It is typically acceptable and appropriate to capitalize both words in a two-word phrasal verb. Therefore, regardless of author intent or how most sites show it, Flew Over should be capitalized. The Wikipedia project for music, WP:MUSTARD#Capitalization, suggests as much, "capitalize only those prepositions that are the first or last word of the title, or are part of a two-word phrasal verb." Flew Over is a phrasal verb; Bridge over is not. It's a good guideline to follow. --Wolfer68 (talk) 23:32, 28 July 2008 (UTC)


Look, the character list is practically twice as long as the entire article and redundant to boot. There is no need for it. Lots42 (talk) 05:32, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

But does the long list of characters truly hurt anything? Czolgolz (talk) 21:51, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, many things. It makes the article very long. There is no need to repeat so much information. And too much information is simply not allowed per Wikipedia policy; too much and you get trademark violations. Lots42 (talk) 05:24, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
One vote for, one against. Anyone else want to weigh in? Czolgolz (talk) 14:16, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
you can't get trademark violations because it's not trademarked, it's copywritten. and this article as it stands comes nowhere near violating fair usage. the list of characters is important for clarity since there are so many characters, but should only aim to describe the characters and limit it's description of their actions to avoid redundancyIon G Nemes (talk)
Either way, excessive plot bloat is against Wiki-rules. The character section being so long makes no sense. If a character is that important he should be at least mentioned in the plot section. Lots42 (talk) 03:19, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

littered with errors[edit]

Harding isn't a repressed homosexual, he's an active one(he admits to his "shameful practices" when telling RPM how he wound up on the ward). Sorensen isn't revealed to be a PT boat veteran until talking with the idlers at the dock after the fishing trip, RPM talks him into going along on the trip because he finds out Sorensen used to run a commercial trawler(just 40 feet long, but it drew 12 feet and was all oak and teak). And the chief lifts the control panel twice. The first time is to win a bet for RPM. This is to fullfill an agreement he made with RPM who promised to build the chief up and make him big and powerfull again(this agreement is in and of itself a major element in the story which the plot summary omits). Rpm didn't come there from an 'ordinary prison', but from a prison work-farm. RPM only breaks into the locked room to get the cough syrup they use to mix with vodka and cheap sherry (smuggled in by candy and sandy)to make punch, and he does this with turkle's help(they work together, using paperclips, to pick the lock). Ion G Nemes (talk) 06:22, 11 March 2011 (UTC) Also, the photo Ruckley holds is too worn to be identified. The only thing he ever says is"F-f-f-fuck da wife!", but the picture is not identified in the story. And the lifegaurd does have cleatmarks on his forehead, but this is not described as the cause of his mental instability in the book. These may be tempting assumptions, but they still qualify as assumptions. Even if you find a 'reliable source' that makes these assumptions, they should be attributed to that source and not included in the character or plot synopsis unless it is made clear that these are not explicitly stated as facts in the story. Ion G Nemes (talk) 06:44, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

You know, you are allowed to edit the article. However, things like Ruckley's photo and the lifeguards brain damage are so blatantly implied, you have to give the reader some credit. Czolgolz (talk) 12:43, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, young feller, back when we played football without facemasks, cleatmarks on foreheads weren't that uncommon, but brain damage was. And neither of these things are blatantly implied as far as I can see. Does Ruckley say 'fuck the wife' because he misses her, or because he hates her? The former seems unlikely, and the latter would fit but poorly with the Idea that he holds a picture of her at all times. I do give the reader some credit, I credit the reader with not making questionable assumptions.Ion G Nemes (talk) 04:36, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
Edit as you feel you must. But the lifeguard had been institutionalized for years and still had the cleat scars on his head. He must have taken a hell of a hit (and in the days of football helmets). You really don't think he's suffered brain damage? Czolgolz (talk) 05:05, 13 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'm making my point clear, so I'll try a different explanation: I feel that it is important that this page makes clear the difference between what the book actually says, and what people (hopefully reliable sources)say it means. Interpretations should not be mixed in with the synopsis or character profiles in such a way that they cannot be told apart. Even what Kesey himself said later about the book should be clearly differentiated from what the book itself actually says.
In regard to wether I think the lifeguard has brain damage: The book certainly doesn't say so as it does in the case of Pete Bancini, so why leave the reader of this article the impression that it does? What would be wrong with just explaining that he's got cleatmarks on his forehead, and letting the reader reach his or her own conclusion?
I am also well aware that I can edit the article, but I decided not to because I thought that some guy might object because he thought the things I changed were blatantly obvious. I just left these observations here for anyone who actually cares enough about the quality of this article to try and make the changes, and make them stick. Frankly, I don't. Ion G Nemes (talk) 04:38, 22 June 2011 (UTC)


The analytical sections, 'Background', 'Title' and 'Main characters', are very interesting. Unfortunately, they aren't allowed in Wikipedia per WP:V unless they can be attributed to reputable sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:06, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Additionally, whoever referenced Foucault's work on "invisible forms of discipline" seems blissfully unaware of the fact that these issues (at least as referenced in this article) were already addressed in detail by JS Mill in 1859. (talk) 17:15, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

No Criticism or Analysis?[edit]

I find it very strange that the article about such a highly significant work contains nothing about how it was received by critics, and, as can be seen by the "Further reading" list, it has been the subject of considerable academic analysis and commentary, which is also not mentioned in the article. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 14:51, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Reference to Prostitutes[edit]

In the Summary section, the first sentence of paragraph three reads:

"One night, after bribing the night orderly, McMurphy breaks into the pharmacy and smuggles bottles of liquor and two prostitute girlfriends onto the ward."

Do we know the two young women were prostitutes? Speaking as a man who enjoys sex and who had to fight very hard against the indoctrination of his rigid Roman Catholic schooling in order to be able to do so, I resent the hypocrisy which says that, if a woman enjoys sex and if she is not faithful to one man, she is a prostitute.

It is a long time since I read the book, so I cannot remember if Ken Kesey explicitly stated that the two young women with McMurphy were prostitutes. Unless he did so, I believe the word prostitute is pejorative in this context and that it should be removed.

I am not against prostitutes in general. As I mentioned, I had a Roman Catholic education. I required the help and assistance of a small army of prostitutes to overcome it! I required their help and assistance to liberate myself. They were all very fine ladies (with one or two notable exceptions). I am proud to have know them. Nevertheless, I do not like the implication that any woman who would have sex with someone like Randle McMurphy (and or Billy Bibbit) must be a prostitute. Although the circumstances under which Candy has sex with Billy are unusual, to say the least, I don't recall any money changing hands.

P.S. For those who feel my final paragraph, above, is "too much information", I reply, I wish you to know exactly where I am coming from when I object to the word "prostitute" in this context. Richard Gillard (talk) 10:17, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

They are prostitutes. When arranging the fishing trip, MacMurphy tells the big nurse they will be accompanied by his old aunts, then tells the Chief and George they are actually hookers. And he charges Billy money to sleep with Candy. Czolgolz (talk) 05:02, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Czolgolz is correct about the first mention of Candy being a prostitute. Why would someone not look back to the text before expounding in near sanctimonious tone on a point of contention that is absolutely moot? There WAS money that changed hands. Billy complained to McMurphy of feeling he was being taken advantage of for the rate being charged (a direct response to a seed planted in the patients' minds by Ratched). — Preceding unsigned comment added by IcehouseCover (talkcontribs) 02:16, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Plot Summary Overhaul[edit]

I tire of reading half-hashed, poorly written plot synopses of books I love. For some reason, this page caught my attention today. I made some edits I hope improve the encyclopedic tone of this particular article, and have posted my list of edits and their reasoning below.

"The book is narrated by "Chief" Bromden, a gigantic and docile half-Native American inmate who is -(thought to be) +(presents himself)*1 deaf and mute. Bromden’s (tale)+*2 focuses mainly on the antics of the rebellious Randle Patrick McMurphy, who faked insanity to serve his sentence for battery and gambling in the hospital-(,)*3 rather than in prison, -+(for battery and gambling)*4. The head administrative nurse, Mildred Ratched, rules the ward with a mailed fist and with little medical oversight. She is assisted by her three black day-shift orderlies, and her assistant doctors.
McMurphy constantly antagonizes Nurse Ratched and upsets the routines +(of the ward)*5, leading to constant power struggles between the inmate and the nurse. He runs a card table, captains the ward's basketball team, comments on Nurse Ratched's figure, incites the other patients -(on the ward)*6 to conduct a vote -(on)+(about)*7 watching the World Series on television, and organizes an unsupervised deep sea fishing trip. His reaction after claiming to be able to and subsequently failing to lift a heavy control panel in the defunct hydrotherapy room (referred to as the "tub room") – "But at least I tried." – gives the men incentive to try to stand up for themselves, -(and to do their best)*8 instead of allowing Nurse Ratched to take control of -(everything they do) +( every aspect of their lives).*9 The Chief opens up to McMurphy, -(and reveals)+(revealing)*10 late one night that he can speak and hear. A disturbance after the fishing trip results in McMurphy and the Chief being sent for electroshock therapy sessions, but even this -(experience)+(punishment)*11 does little to tamp down McMurphy's rambunctious behavior.
One night, after bribing the night orderly, McMurphy smuggles two prostitute girlfriends with liquor onto the ward, and breaks into the pharmacy for codeine cough syrup, and later unnamed psychiatric medications. McMurphy persuades one of the women to seduce Billy Bibbit, a timid, boyish patient with a terrible stutter and little experience with women, so he can lose his virginity. Although McMurphy plans to escape before the morning shift starts, he and the other patients instead fall asleep without cleaning up the mess (of the group’s antics)*12, and the +(morning)*13 staff -(finds)+(discovers)*14 the ward in complete disarray. Nurse Ratched finds Billy and the prostitute in each other's arms, partially dressed, and admonishes him. Billy asserts himself for the first time, answering Nurse Ratched without stuttering. Ratched calmly threatens to tell Billy's mother what she has seen. Billy has an emotional -(breakdown and,)+(breakdown, and)*15 once left alone in the doctor's office, commits suicide by cutting his throat. Nurse Ratched blames McMurphy for the loss of Billy's life. Enraged at what she has done to Billy, McMurphy attacks -(her)+(Ratched)*16 -(and attempts) (,)+17* (attempting)*18 to strangle her to death+(,)-(and tears)+(tearing)*19 off her uniform, (and)+*20 revealing her breasts to the patients and aides watching. –(He has to be dragged away from her and is moved to the Disturbed ward.)+(McMurphy is physically restrained, and moved to the Disturbed ward.)*21
Nurse Ratched misses a week of work due to her injuries, during which time many of the patients either transfer to other wards +(,)22 or check out of the hospital forever. When she returns, she cannot speak, and is thus deprived of her most potent tool to keep the men in line. -(Most of the patients leave shortly after this event.)*23 –(Later, after)+(With)*24 Bromden, Martini, and Scanlon –(are)*25 the only patients who attended the boat trip left on the ward, McMurphy is brought back in. He has received a lobotomy+(,)*26 and is now in a vegetative state, +(rendering him)*27 silent and motionless. The Chief smothers McMurphy with a pillow during the night in an act of mercy-(,)*28 before throwing the tub room control panel, the same one McMurphy could not lift earlier, through a window, and escaping the hospital."
  • 1 (thought to be) by whom? Those who see him on the ward? Himself? Vague language.
  • 2 Bromden does not entirely focus on Bromden, but does focus the bulk of his narrative around this individual. Important distinction which allows Bromden’s own character development.
  • 3 Superfluous comma
  • 4 Moved before 3
  • 5 Added to clarify
  • 6 Removing awkward repetition within same sentence
  • 7 Changing preposition here to prevent immediate nesting of preposition in repetition.
  • 8 Weak wording. Eliminating.
  • 9 Weak wording. Clarified.
  • 10 Tense issue.
  • 11 Diction issue.
  • 12 Clarified. There is no description of what needed to be cleaned up or a mess being created prior to this. Confusing without qualification.
  • 13 There are numerous references to “staff” in immediate surrounding sentences. Adding this to clarify.
  • 14 “Finds” is used at the beginning of the next sentence. Awkward repetition. Replaced with more elucidative synonym.
  • 15 Corrected misunderstanding/misuse of the placement of comma and conjunction.
  • 16 Pronoun replaced for clarity of sentence.
  • 17 Conjunction and noun removed, and Comma added in tense change
  • 18 Verb moved and tense changed. See 17
  • 19 Comma added and tense corrected
  • 20 Conjunction added in line with tense changes
  • 21 Removed sentence with vague pronouns and replaced with alternative.
  • 22 Comma added
  • 23 Seems redundant and confusing to flow.
  • 24 Changing for clarity
  • 25 Removal in line with 24
  • 26 Comma added
  • 27 I’m reluctant here. I nearly wanted to add a comma after “silent” in the original text, but decided to add “rendering him” to preserve the compound description “silent and motionless” in the spirit of modern grammar.
  • 28 Removing comma. — Preceding unsigned comment added by IcehouseCover (talkcontribs) 23:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 12 July 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. WP:SPEEDY close per WP:SNOW (non-admin closure) В²C 20:40, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (novel)One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest – Original title Wikimostafa (talk) 11:10, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.