To be considered insane one must have non-conforming perceptions, behaviors, and interactions that negatively distinguishes one from one’s community (Mayo Clinic). Furthermore for one to be labeled mentally ill, they would need to be clinically diagnosed as being psychologically challenged. In Ken Kesey’s controversial novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the constant question being asked by everyone is whether or not McMurphy is just an irrationally drunk character or is he actually struggling with deep-seated mental issues. However,instead McMurphy is a reckless, foolish, and arrogant in his actions For that reason McMurphy, by manipulating his peers and in comparison to other characters is not insane, rather he is a power-hungry, trouble-starting, …show more content…
Upon entering the institution, Mcmurphy walks in filled with joy and delight bringing back laughter and excitement into gloomy, dead hallways (Forman). Then one of the first thing he says is “I’m thinking about taking over this whole show myself” (19). McMurphy has just entered the ward and has no idea of how things work around here, but without a doubt intends to have dominance over the facility. Further on and throughout the book, McMurphy is absolutely determined to change the rules and general environment of the institution. He starts to uplift the spirits of the patients to get them to rebel against Nurse Ratched (A Portrait of Despair in One Dimension). Then he brings up new rules and ideas, for instance when wanting to change the cleaning and t.v. times so that they would be able to watch the World Series (Forman/Kessey). Lastly, he comes up with the idea of taking the men fishing and later on throws a party inside the ward. In the end the fact McMurphy was successful and he “had things going his way for a good long while” (205) proves that he was well determined and is sane. Overall the amount of freedom that Mcmurphy held for himself and without having any trouble of getting that freedom stripped away from him by the Nurse verifies his sanity. His strong, loud, and lively characteristic speaks for his freedom (A Portrait of Despair in One Dimension). As soon as he entered the ward he displayed his freedom towards everybody “with the brassy way he hollered” (19) at the black boys for getting him to change his clothes. Even after receiving electroshock therapy he came walking down the hall with an act on his face and bursted out laughing as soon as everybody had their eyes on him and in the presence of the Nurse (Forman). More or less, he knew that he only had to perform small
McMurphy’s Impact on the Ward After two patients commit suicide shortly after McMurphy’s arrival, one may question, did McMurphy have an overall positive impact on the ward? The psychological drama, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey is told through the point of view of patient Chief Bromden, a schizophrenic man who has been in the ward for over ten years. Nurse Ratched, the head nurse of the ward, abuses her power by utilizing several therapy techniques which are debilitating to the patients. However, her power is challenged when new patient Randle McMurphy arrives on the ward. McMurphy is loud, talkative, and confident, a direct contrast to the rest of the patients.
He shows his selfishness towards his friends and other patients by trying to manipulate them. There are many evidence that McMurphy is a narcissist and he has NPD. McMurphy tries to get everyone in the ward to do many things that they wouldn't
McMurphy, like the other patients, is also mentally unstable and has made questionable decisions in the past. Despite McMurphy's alleged flaws, he inspires the men with a rebellious attitude, helps the patients increase their confidence, and make the patients realize they have a place in life outside of the ward. Although the patients never express their
McMurphy is not in the mental ward because he is insane. McMurphy is there because it is a better living option for him than work farm he was previously in after jail. Since McMurphy is not crazy, the patients think of him as a normal person in society. Normal people in society are free and can do what they please. Therefore, the patients look at McMurphy as a symbol of freedom.
Similarly, In the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, Randle Patrick McMurphy’s traits and actions blur the line between good and evil. McMurphy is committed to a mental institution in the late 1950s. There he challenges the control and dominance of the unmerciful Nurse Ratched. McMurphy’s traits show he is a flawed
She controls all every little detail that goes on within the ward, every little secret every little action is highly monitored by Nurse Ratched. But one day a man, named McMurphy, was brought in handcuffs and as soon as they’re removed, he breaks into one of Nicholson’s patented madman
Weather in literature is often used to symbolize the mood or mental state in which a character experiences. For example, rain is commonly associated with sadness. As it is commonly identified, fog is a cloudy element of weather that affects one’s ability to see clearly, however, it is also used in literature to represent a character’s lack of clarity. Throughout One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, the motif of fog is used to represent the mental instability and confusion Bromden experiences under Nurse Ratched’s ward. As the story progresses and Bromden gains confidence, the fog diminishes and he is able to overcome the Big Nurse.
His rebellious and free mind makes the patients open their eyes and see how the have been suppressed. His appearance is a breath of fresh air and a look into the outside world for the patients. This clearly weakens Nurse Ratched’s powers, and she sees him as a large threat. One way or another, McMurphy tends to instigate changes of scenery. He manages to move everyone away from her music and watchful eye into the old tube room.
Nurse Ratched was very controlling and wanted complete power. This caused many of the patients to rebel and break loose from her control. McMurphy lead the ward in this uprising. From brushing his teeth too early to sneaking prostitutes into the ward, he shows Nurse Ratched that she cannot rule him. This story reminded me of Malala Yousafzai and her retaliation against the Taliban.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, considers the qualities in which society determines sanity. The label of insanity is given when someone is different from the perceived norm. Conversely, a person is perceived as sane when their behavior is consistent with the beliefs of the majority. Although the characters of this novel are patients of a mental institution, they all show qualities of sanity. The book is narrated by Chief Brodmen, an observant chronic psychiatric patient, who many believe to be deaf and dumb.
“ I didn’t think the nurse had the say-so on this kind of thing”. “She does indeed” ( Kesey, pg 191). So, McMurphy understands that nurse Ratched has a say in when he can leave the ward. After learning this he becomes quiet and nice towards nurse Ratched. But before learning that she had say in when he could get out he used to go against her orders and laws.
By weakening McMurphy’s power in the ward, she creates an environment where can continue to thrive in her power through the systems she has set in place. However, Nurse Ratched’s plan does not succeed and McMurphy is allowed to proceed with his fishing trip. He continues to undermine the nurse’s authority to the point where he physically assults her after she blames Billy’s death on him. His actions give Nurse Ratched an opportunity to give him the ultimate punishment, a
Ken Kesey author of the fictional novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest published in 1962 has taken the opportunity to write about the hippy culture and how society shames difference. Readers are taken to a mental institution in Oregon in the 1950’s and experience what it is like for the outcast people. The men in the ward are run by Nurse Ratched and have lost control of themselves. Majority of these men are in the mental hospital because they have checked themselves in, but not McMurphy he is a convict there for psych evaluation. Do to Nurse Ratched the men loses control over themselves and they haven’t realized till McMurphy walked through the door.
McMurphy arrives to the ward thinking he is different from the other patients on the ward, but throughout the novel his hidden subconscious thoughts of his true mental state are revealed. While introducing himself to the patients, McMurphy tells the background story of how he ended up where he was. He says that the “court ruled that [he’s] a psychopath” (13), and he didn’t argue with that ruling. Although he doesn’t deny that he belongs on a mental ward, he claims that he only acted the way he did to leave “those damned pea fields” (13) and quit working. Because he is a true gambler at heart, he bets the patients that he can get under Nurse Ratched’s skin and shake up things on the ward.
The concept of social alienation and various methods of subduing patients like electric shocks and lobotomy were prevalent which further alienated the patients rather than curing them. The movie highlights the strong bond between the patients. The human condition of friendship and bonding is highlighted. During the last quarter of the movie, the protagonist McMurphy had a chance to escape the institution, but he hesitated and stayed to support his friend ‘Billy’. The strong bond that he created with the patients led him to risk his escape plan to stay behind for his friend (Kesey).