Sometimes a Great Notion Themes

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Like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962), Sometimes a Great Notion examines the individual's battle against repressive forces. The plot centers on the Stamper family's attempts to fulfill a logging contract made with Wakonda Pacific. Led by Hank Stamper, who was raised according to his father's motto "NEVER GIVE AN INCH," the Oregon family resists the pressures put upon them by the striking logging union.

Because they subscribe to the code of rugged individualism, they bravely face ostracism by the townspeople, illegal scare tactics, including arson, planned by the local union leader Floyd Evenwrite, and the coldly intellectual manipulations of Jonathan Draeger, a union negotiator from California. Echoing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Sometimes a Great Notion reflects Kesey's advocacy of freedom over control by a collectivist system.

Another repressive force in Kesey's novel is nature. The western Oregon coast with its wild forests, its torrential rains, and...

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This section contains 545 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sometimes a Great Notion Study Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Sometimes a Great Notion from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.