Research For One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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  • 7/30/2019 Research For One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest


    The Black Panthers

    Black Panther History:On April 25th, 1967, the first issue of The Black Panther,

    the party's official news organ, goes into distribution. In the following month, the par-ty marches on the California state capital fully armed, in protest of the state's attempt

    to outlaw carrying loaded weapons in public. Bobby Seale reads a statement of

    protest; while the police respond by immediately arresting him and all 30 armed Pan-

    thers. This early act of political repression kindles the fires to the burning resistance

    movement in the United States; soon initiating minority workers to take up arms and

    form new Panther chapters outside the state.

    Black Panther Theory:The practices of the late Malcolm X were deeplyrooted in the theoretical foundations of the Black Panther Party. Malcolm had repre-

    sented both a militant revolutionary, with the dignity and self-respect to stand up and

    fight to win equality for all oppressed minorities; while also being an outstanding role

    model, someone who sought to bring about positive social services; something the

    Black Panthers would take to new heights. The Panthers followed Malcolm's belief of

    international working class unity across the spectrum of color and gender, and thus

    united with various minority and white revolutionary groups. From the tenets of Mao-ism they set the role of their Party as the vanguard of the revolution and worked to es-

    tablish a united front, while from Marxism they addressed the capitalist economic

    system, embraced the theory ofdialectical materialism, and represented the need for

    all workers to forcefully take over the means of production.

    U.S Police Terror And Repression

    On April 6, 1968, in West Oakland, Bobby Hutton, 17 years old, is shot dead by Oak-land police. In a 90 minute gun battle, an unarmed Bobby Huttonis shot ten times

    dead, after his house is set ablaze and he is forced to run out into a fire of bullets. Just

    two days earlier, Martin Luther King is assassinated, after he had begun rethinking

    his own doctrines of non-violence, and started to build ties with radical unions. Two

    months later on the day of Bobby's death, Robert Kennedy, widely recognized in the

    minority community as one of the only politicians in the US "sympathetic" to the civ-

    il rights movement, is also assassinated
  • 7/30/2019 Research For One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest


    Racism In the Novel

    The Aides in Kesey's novel, who are also called "black boys," negatively portray

    blacks as inferior to white people in society. The aides had a poor, rough childhood

    growing up as seen by their lack of education as seen in the quote "`Why, who you

    s'pose signed chief Bromden up for this foolishness? Inniuns ain't able to write'"

    (191). Their aides' hatred of the patients stems from their rough childhood. They are

    also cast as irresponsible and unable to carry out simple jobs. This is evident in the

    quote "`I'll take him. He's always untying his sheet and roaming around.'" (147),

    when Turkle, the night-shift aide, lies to the nurse in charge at night by saying that

    Bromden untied his sheets, when Turkle Irresponsibly untied Bromden's sheets for


    On the morning of the fishing trip on Nurse Ratched's ward, one of Ratched's aides

    called Bromden illiterate because he was half-Indian. The General statement made

    by the aid, which was in the quote "`Why, who you s'pose signed chief Bromden up

    for this foolishness? Inniuns ain't able to write.'" (191), describes Kesey's racism to-

    ward Indians. The quote reflects how Indians in Kesey's novel are portrayed as illit-

    erate. Bromden also represents the Indians as imprisoned at the mercy of white

    people. In Kesey's novel Indians, such as Bromden's father were forced to hand

    over their land to white people. The Indians' land was very important to them and

    being forced to give up land was essentially giving up their freedom.

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