Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Disability and Native American Counterculture in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and House Made of Dawn

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2015), 9, (2), 189–205.

Abstract

The two novels examined in the article, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn, are connected by Native American characters who are unable to join dominant culture because, at the very level of cognition, they do not conform to its aggressive and rigid codes. This non-conformity is expressed as disability, raising important questions about the links between disability and the norms by which dominant cultures operate. Like the countercultural critique of rationality launched by Herbert Marcuse and others in the sixties, the “disabilities” of Abel and Bromden indicate the irrationality lying under the surface of an apparently functional, reasonable Western industrial culture.

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Davis, Leonard. J. “Nude Venuses, Medusa’s Body, and Phantom Limbs: Disability and Visuality.” The Body and Physical Difference: Discourses of Disability. Ed. David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1997. 51–70. Print. Nude Venuses, Medusa’s Body, and Phantom Limbs: Disability and Visuality The Body and Physical Difference: Discourses of Disability 51 70 Google Scholar

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Ginsberg, Allen. Howl, and Other Poems. San Francisco: City Lights Pocket Bookshop, 1956. Print. Howl, and Other Poems Google Scholar

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Leeds, Barry. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: ‘It’s True Even If It Didn’t Happen.’” Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House, 2002. 79–101. Print. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: ‘It’s True Even If It Didn’t Happen.’ Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 79 101 Google Scholar

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Momaday, N. S. House Made of Dawn. New York: Harper & Row, 1968. Print. House Made of Dawn Google Scholar

Momaday, N. S. “The Man Made of Words.” Nothing but the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literature. Ed. John Purdy and James Ruppert. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001. 82–95. Print. The Man Made of Words Nothing but the Truth: An Anthology of Native American Literature 82 95 Google Scholar

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Percy, Walker. The Moviegoer. New York: Knopf, 1961. Print. The Moviegoer Google Scholar

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Richards, Gary. Lovers and Beloveds: Sexual Otherness in Southern Fiction, 1936–1961. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2007. Print. Lovers and Beloveds: Sexual Otherness in Southern Fiction, 1936–1961 Google Scholar

Roszak, Theodore. The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1969. Print. The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition Google Scholar

Smith, Sherry L. Hippies, Indians, and the Fight for Red Power. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. Print. Hippies, Indians, and the Fight for Red Power Google Scholar

Tanner, Stephen. “Salvation through Laughter: Ken Kesey & and the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House, 2002. 55–66. Print. Salvation through Laughter: Ken Kesey & and the Cuckoo’s Nest Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 55 66 Google Scholar

Tanner, Tony. City of Words: American Fiction, 1950–1970. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. Print. City of Words: American Fiction, 1950–1970 Google Scholar

Teuton, Sean K. Red Land, Red Power: Grounding Knowledge in the American Indian Novel. Durham: Duke UP, 2008. Print. Red Land, Red Power: Grounding Knowledge in the American Indian Novel Google Scholar

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Kaiser, Wilson

Kaiser, Wilson