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Table of Contents
TERM PAPER IDEAS
• GENERAL TOPICS
1. "You Have to Laugh at the Things that Hurt You:"
2. Sexuality in Cuckoo's Nest.
3. Sanity versus insanity in Cuckoo's Nest.
4. Nothing to fear but fear itself? Causes of mental illness.
5. The gospel according to McMurphy.
• CHARACTER ANALYSIS
1. McMurphy as Christ.
2. McMurphy's disciples.
3. Nurse Ratched: character or caricature?
4. In defense of Nurse Ratched.
5. McMurphy As Western hero.
6. The fall of McMurphy, the rise of the Chief.
7. The true hero of Cuckoo's Nest: McMurphy or Chief
8. McMurphy: con-man to hero.
9. The supporting cast: Billy Bibbit and Dale Harding.
• SOCIAL ISSUES
1. The group versus the individual.
2. The ward as microcosm of the outside world.
3. Does the Combine represent reality?
4. Indian life in Cuckoo's Nest.
5. The matriarchy: is Kesey unfair to women?
6. Cuckoo's Nest and current psychiatric techniques: how
7. Anti-Establishment politics in Cuckoo's Nest.
8. McMurphy and the politics of frontier individualism.
• LITERARY TECHNIQUE
1. Foreshadowing in Cuckoo's Nest.
2. Images of machinery in Cuckoo's Nest.
3. "The truth even if it didn't happen:" Chief Bromden's
• POETRY AND METAPHOR IN CUCKOO'S NEST
1. Rhyme and song in Cuckoo's Nest.
2. Kesey's use of symbolism.
3. Hands and faces as indications of character.
• COMPARISONS WITH OTHER WORKS
1. Cuckoo's Nest and comic strips.
2. Popular culture in Cuckoo's Nest.
3. Cuckoo's Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion.
4. Billy Bibbit and Billy Budd.
5. Kesey and Melville.
6. Cuckoo's Nest as novel, Cuckoo's Nest as film (or play).