Study Guide

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Genre

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There are some funny moments in this movie, but at heart One Flew is pure drama.

Who can watch poor Charlie Cheswick get hauled off for electroshock therapy without getting a little bleary-eyed? And who can watch the final scene of this movie without feeling sadness for McMurphy and total triumph for Chief Bromden? Ugh, we're reaching for the tissues just thinking about it.

Plus, there's the whole deeper meaning thing we know you're really after. The movie might seem silly at times, but every minute of it gives significant commentary on the state of modern life, especially the way that society demands total conformity and locks up anyone who tries to act like too much of an individual.

Unfortunately, some viewers get so caught up in the humor of McMurphy's antics that they're emotionally unprepared for the dramatic moments where something really bad happens. These sudden shocks can cause some viewers to reject this movie as being too unpleasant or difficult to watch. But the drama is always there if you're looking for it.

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