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'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' Quotes

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the famous novel by Ken Kesey about insanity and the individual--with the concept of revolution figured in. The book is set in an Oregon insane asylum and centers around the struggles of patients to gain some sense of freedom in the repressive environment. Here are a few quotes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
  • "I been silent so long now it's gonna roar out of me like floodwaters and you think the guy telling this is ranting and raving my God; you think this is too horrible to have really happened, this is too awful to be the truth! But, please. It's still hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But it’s the truth even if it didn't happen."
    - Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
     
  • "The flock gets sight of a spot of blood on some chicken and they all go to peckin' at it, see, till they rip the chicken to shreds, blood and bones and feathers. But usually a couple of the flock gets spotted in the fracas, then it's their turn. And a few more gets spots and gets pecked to death, and more and more. Oh, a peckin' party can wipe out the whole flock in a matter of a few hours, buddy, I seen it. A mighty awesome sight. The only way to prevent it—with chickens—is to clip blinders on them. So's they can't see."
    - Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
     
  • "So you see my friend, it is somewhat as you stated: man has but one truly effective weapon against the juggernaut of modern matriarchy, but it certainly is not laughter. One weapon, and with every passing year in this hip, motivationally researched society, more and more people are discovering how to render that weapon useless and conquer those who have hitherto been conquerors"
    - Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
     
  • "And, almost, see the apparatus inside them take the words I just said and try to fit the words in here and there, this place and that, and when they find the words don’t have any place ready-made where they’ll fit, the machinery disposes of the words like they weren’t even spoken."
    - Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
     
  • "While McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top, spreading his laugh out across the water—laughing at the girl, the guys, at George, at me sucking my bleeding thumb, at the captain back at the pier and the bicycle rider and the service-station guys and the five thousand houses and the Big Nurse and all of it. Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy."
    - Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
     

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