Irony, Humor, and Paradox in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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Outline Thesis: Irony, humor, and paradox illuminate the central themes in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest . I. About the novel A. Values and components B. Purpose II. About the principal characters A. Protagonist B. Narrator C. Antagonist III. About the themes A. Irony 1. Narrator selection 2. Atrophy of protagonist B. Humor 1. Ruth Sullivan 2. Character over-exaggeration C. Paradox 1. Oppression of residents 2. Power of Nurse Ratched Bibliography Davidson, Dorothy, ed. Book Review Digest: 1962. New York: …

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…as illustrated in the novel, is shown by the author's use of the Big Nurse as the figure controlling the men, and the men being the weak, oppressed figures in need of McMurphy's assistance. Although Big Nurse pretends to be motherly and warm, her consuming passion is for order and discipline, and her ultimate weapon is fear, not love (Magill, Contemporary Literature 5,588). She is a melodramatic device standing for an overbearing, indefensible anti-feminine argument (Hicks 277).