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Abstract

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Ken Kesey's first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, reflects his experiences as a young attendant in two California mental hospitals in which he was employed. Book reviewers spoke highly of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and recognized the authority with which Kesey captured the day-to-day routines and events in mental wards. Irving Malin observed that One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a gothic novel, for it employs imprisonment, madness, violence and distorted reflections, but it does so in a new way which Malin calls new American gothic. 1 Joseph J. Waldmeir, in a long review-essay, considers One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest a novel of the absurd, ((the first truly successful American novel of the absurd since World War II." 2

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