Aim: How can we reflect on the definition of madness given to us in the novel? Do Now: What do you think about Ken Kesey’s assertion that Nurse Ratched is not the villain? “She’s not the villain. She might be the minion of the villain, but she’s really just a big old tough ex-army nurse who is trying to do the best she can according to the rules that she has been given. She worked for the villain and believed in the villain, but she ain’t the villain.” – Ken Kesey Institutionalized • “...modern man no longer communicates with the madman [...] There is no common language: or rather, it no longer exists; the constitution of madness as mental illness, at the end of the eighteenth century, bears witness to a rupture in a dialogue, gives the separation as already enacted, and expels from the memory all those imperfect words, of no fixed syntax, spoken falteringly, in which the exchange between madness and reason was carried out. The language of psychiatry, which is a monologue by reason about madness, could only have come into existence in such a silence.: • Foucault, Preface to the 1961 edition of History of Madness. • With reference to Foucault’s quote, what has One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest provided that was missing? The Construction of Madness • Even in our work with “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the issue of madness and whether or not one is truly insane comes into question when we look at the role of society and the perception of those around us. • Let’s take the following statement: Society forms its own definition of madness. • If the ward is its own mini-society, a microcosm of the larger society, what definiton of madness has it constructed? On Burrough’s Work by Allen Ginsberg The method must be purest meat and no symbolic dressing, actual visions & actual prisons as seen then and now. Prisons and visions presented with rare descriptions corresponding exactly to those of Alcatraz and Rose. A naked lunch is natural to us, we eat reality sandwiches. But allegories are so much lettuce. Don't hide the madness. In what way is this poem ironic? • Which line of Ginsberg’s poem contains its thesis? • What statement is Ginsberg making of the depiction of madness and imprisonment? • Ginsberg was referring to his friend, William Burrough’s, writing. However, how does this poem connect to the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? • Is it fair to suggest that the ward is really a prison? Are they all? Much Madness is Divinest Sense By: Emily Dickinson Much Madness is divinest Sense – To a discerning Eye – Much Sense – the starkest Madness – ’Tis the Majority In this, as all, prevail – Assent – and you are sane – Demur – you’re straightway dangerous – And handled with a Chain – Vocabulary • Discerning – having or showing good judgment • Starkest – complete, sheer • Assent – the expression of approval or agreement • Demur – raise doubt or objections or show reluctance Essay Assignment Write a well-developed, 5-paragraph essay discussing the definition of madness as revealed through Emily Dicksinson’s poem, “Much Madness is Divinest Sense”, Allen Ginsberg’s “On Burrough’s Work,” and Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Your thesis statement should clearly define the definition of madness as you have seen it defined through the 3 works. You should then use each work to reinforce that thesis statement. Note: This will count as an exam grade. You are to write this essay in class. You will have 1 day (Friday) to prepare by taking notes on the poems and preparing quotes from the novel. You will then have 2 full class days (Monday & Wednesday) to write out your essay and hand it in at the end of class on Wednesday, November 3.