One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Study Guide
Themes Pt. 1

Themes Pt. 2

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


1. Literal and symbolic murders are committed in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Discuss three; identify who or what is murdered, name the murderer, and assign responsibility. Discuss the significance of these murders; do not merely make a "list."

2. An important theme in the novel is that of "committment". Discuss the various meanings the world has and the illustrations of these meanings. How does the significance of the word change during the course of the novel?

3. When asked about his reaction to the film version of his novel Ken Kesey said that hte moviemakers missed the point of the whole book by making Big Nurse the villain of the film. "The evil [in this story] is not the government, not the cops, and certainly not Big Nurse." Who or what, then, is the villain or the evil force in this story?