Authority In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Relationships with authority figures in our lives can be incredibly complex. This can be seen in the passage from Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, between the narrator, Chief Bromden and Nurse Ratched. By using literary elements such as dehumanizing word choice, objectifying characterization, and an unreliable narrator , Kesey is able to convey the respecting yet fearful power dynamic in Chief's mind. Throughout the entire passage, the words chosen are used to make the Nurse seem like a monster, and an inhuman machine. Her finger and lips are a "funny orange", compared to a soldering iron, which is able to bring on extreme pain with just a touch. Her weaved bag apparently doesn't contain ladylike objects, instead "gears, cogs..tiny pills..needles, forceps, watchmakers' pliers" and "rolls of copper wire". In Chief's eyes, Nurse Ratched is not a person. By choosing these items to name, and stating that there is no "woman stuff", it depicts that he believes she's unlike anyone else. Powerful, scary and not afraid to hurt anyone. When she approaches the boys in a huddle, Chief sees her "swelling up...till her back's splitting out of the white uniform" and her arms are long enough to wrap around them "five, six times". The exaggeration of her …show more content…

A large portion of the last paragraph in the passage demonstrates this. Her face being "calculated", "blend of white and cream and baby-blue eyes, small nose, pink little nostrils", and comparing her to an "expensive baby doll" shows the side of his feelings besides fear. Even though she may seem like a monster, she's still a woman. Almost like a baby who throws a fit of rage and wants to destroy everything in their path. He then goes on to say that adding her "big, womanly breasts" were a mistake. She is nothing more than a baby with a large "bosom" and an

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