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The Bookworm Belle: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

The nursery rhyme “One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest” influenced the title of our book this week. Before reading, you may have wondered how a nursery rhyme can reflect a novel centered around a mental hospital. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey is a great book for the individual who wants to travel to another place and time to experience the unknown. Usually, the book’s readers enjoy exploring a realm that is completely outside of the ordinary, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest does just that by showing the systematic, routine setting of Nurse Ratched’s hall and individuals such as McMurphy who are just waiting to stir the pot. For fellow patients, and eventually readers, McMurphy serves as the symbol of freedom through the role of the hero.

Why you should read it: After reading this American classic, I fell completely in love with the quirky characters and environment that Kesey so perfectly captures. Who hasn’t wondered what life would be like in a mental ward? Okay, so even if you haven’t been curious… One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest will grab your attention and make you feel right alongside McMurphy as he sneaks two prostitutes into the mental ward for a night the patients soon won’t forget.

From the back cover: “In this classic of the 1960s, Ken Kesey’s hero is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a boisterous, brawling, fun-loving rebel who swaggers into the world of a mental hospital and takes over. A lusty, life-affirming fighter, McMurphy rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched. He promotes gambling in the ward, smuggles in wine and women, and openly defies the rules at every turn. But this defiance, which starts as a sport, soon develops into a grim struggle, an all-out war between two relentless opponents: Nurse Ratched, backed by the full power of authority, and McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will. What happens when Nurse Ratched uses her ultimate weapon against McMurphy provides the story’s shocking climax.”

HCxo,The Bookworm Belle

Cara oversees Her Campus Media's community department and serves as strategic lead for the expansion, development and management of all HCM communities, including the Her Campus Chapter Network, InfluenceHer Collective, College Fashionista, Spoon University, Campus Trendsetters, alumni and high school. She works closely with company leadership to develop new community-related sales offerings and the Integrated Marketing team to support all community-focused client marketing programs from end to end. Cara has experience working with high-profile talent, such as Jessica Alba, Andrew Yang, Amber Tamblyn, Aja Naomi King, Troian Bellisario, Jessica Marie Garcia, Nico Tortorella, Nastia Liukin, Rebecca Minkoff, Cecile Richards and Samantha Power, as well as brands like Coca-Cola, L'Oréal Paris, The New York Times, HBO, Uber, H&M and more. Having been a part of the HC family since 2011, Cara served as Campus Correspondent of the HC chapter at the University of Florida where she studied journalism, women’s studies and leadership. A New Yorker turned Floridian, Cara has a Friends quote for any situation. You can usually find her with her friends and family at the beach, a concert or live sports event or binge-watching Grey's Anatomy or Sons of Anarchy. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @thecararose.