Throughout Ken Kesey’s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the balance of power is challenged in the psychiatric ward. Out of the several leaders that appear in the novel, Nurse Ratched and McMurphy are the most prominent. During Nurse Ratched and McMurphy struggle for power, they share many of the same qualities. It is argued that: “McMurphy and Ratched are alike in intelligence, military service, distinctive (if opposite) clothing, and conventionally masculine qualities” (Evans). These small similarities; however, do not distract the characters from fighting for their individual beliefs. Both McMurphy and Nurse Ratched approached their leadership in different ways. McMurphy uses transformational leadership, which is a leader that “must perform some combination of the transactional functions (plan, direct, organize, control) in order to build respect and trust… [and the] leader gets people to work towards some higher purpose or goal” (O’Connor). In other words, it is a leader who achieves a “higher goal”, while “build[ing] respect and trust” from the people. On the other hand, Nurse Ratched uses authoritarian leadership, which is when “Policies [are] determined by the leader. [The] leader determines what each member should do and with whom he should work… Some find it difficult to diffuse authority… [which] causes some to feel threatened and insecure” (Sferra). More simply, an authoritative leader is one that has supreme power over the people. McMurphy’s transformational
Author Ken Kesey, in his novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, exemplifies that people can be both mentally and psychically manipulated. He supports his claim by first using examples, then using analysis, and finally using rhetorical questions. Kesey’s purpose is to enlighten the reader in order to exemplify the idea that everything is not always what it seems. He adopts a dark tone for the reader.
The Beat Generation of the 1950’s and early 1960’s encouraged a new lifestyle for young Americans striving for individualism and freedom, which included rock and roll music, long hair, relaxed style attire, vegetarianism, and experimenting with drugs (“Beat Movement”). Many young Americans of this era wanted to experiment with new social and cultural concepts, rebelling against “normal” American life. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, written by Ken Kesey, portrays the gruesomeness of conformity through the lives of patients in one of the asylum’s wards. The novel shows how the patients are confined to strict rules and limited freedom because of Nurse Ratched’s power. The Beat Generation wanted change because of this conformity, by rebelling against the rules and structure of society. In the text, Kesey implies that conformity is damaging because he believed that conformity and mental institutions negatively impact the patients by destroying their self-esteem, while many in the ‘50s and early ‘60s believed mental institutions helped someone become a normal member of society.
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey reveals the insensitive treatment and dehumanization of the mentally ill. The origin of the book is a story of an individual in a mental hospital. Ken Kesey’s character observes the daily life in a psych ward and reveals
In Ken Kensey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, it conveys messages all throughout the novel. The messages conveyed towards the reader regards oppression, role models, and living a self-determined life. Although McMurphy is cast as a savior of sorts, ultimately Bromden saves himself. McMurphy’s role and Bromden’s thoughts and actions throughout the novel, especially at the end.
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. The question of sanity becomes apparent when McMurphy, a confident gambler, who might have faked psychosis in order to get out of the work farm, is assigned to the mental hospital. He quickly stirs up tension in the ward for Nurse Ratched by encouraging the men to have fun and rebel against her rules.
"Nothing builds authority up like silence, splendor of the strong and shelter of the weak" (Charles de Gaulle). This idea is reflected in Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, where it is shown how authority becomes more powerful by abusing the silence of the people. This silence is literally and figuratively represented through Chief Bromden, a longtime patient of a psychiatric ward during the 1960s in the United States. Bromden, along with all the other patients in the ward, religiously abide by the rules and regulations enforced by the ward administration, particularly Nurse Ratched, a strict and abusive manipulator who does anything in order to maintain her power. This power dynamic quickly evolves
Ken Kesey uses his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, to describe the lives of patients in a mental institution, and their struggle to overcome the oppressive authority under which they are living. Told from the point of view of a supposedly mute schizophrenic, the novel also shines a light on the many disorders present in the patients, as well as how their illnesses affect their lives during a time when little known about these disorders, and when patients living with these illnesses were seen as an extreme threat. Chief Bromden, the narrator of the novel, has many mental illnesses, but he learns to accept himself and embrace his differences. Through the heroism introduced through Randle McMurphy, Chief becomes confident in himself, and is ultimately able to escape from the toxic environment Nurse Ratched has created on the ward. Chief has many disorders including schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and, in addition to these illnesses, he pretends to be deaf and dumb. This combination of many mind and life altering diagnoses leads to an interesting point of view, and a deeper look into the lives of people living with the
Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, published in 1962, tells the story of men in a psychiatric ward and focuses on two characters called McMurphy and Bromden, and their defiance towards the institution’s system. A critical factor in this novel are the women. The 1960’s played a significant role in changing the norms of social issues, and the perfect idea of women was changing too. Women were no longer just stay at home wives, but had their own voice in society, and many people did not agree with these untraditional views. Kesey’s representation of women in this novel illustrate them in a poor light that makes it obvious that they don’t fit the ideal womanly persona. Nurse Ratched is the main antagonist who is a very cruel and manipulative nurse, in which all the characters seem to agree that she is out to get them. The other main female role is a hooker McMurphy knew before the hospital who plays a role of meeting the boys needs. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s
Society, It is always changing, just like the people in it. No one wants to look out of place in the world so they do what they can to fit in. Everyone does it differently it might be acting a certain way, or changing style, but with fitting in comes rejection. Just like trying to fit in, dealing with rejection is done differently, most people try to fix the problem before they start to get labeled. In the book “One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest” Ken Kesey shows that the “insanity” of the patients is really just normal insecurities and their label as insane by society is immoral. This appears in the book concerning Billy Bibbits problem with his mom, Harding's problems with his wife, and that the patients are in the ward
Medical treatment aims to heal the patients so they can return and function properly in society however this is not the case in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ written by Ken Kasey. In his novel the mental institution serves as a method to keep the patients away from society and doesn’t function to help the men but to keep them passive. This is shown by the repetition of the time in the beginning of the novel “seven-thirty
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. In Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, women are portrayed as the power figures
Published in 1962, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest tells the story of Patrick McMurphy, a newly-admitted patient at a psychiatric hospital where individuals with various mental conditions are treated. Run primarily by Nurse Ratched, a demeaning autocrat who exhibits complete control over others, the patients are subjected to various forms of treatments and therapy with the intent of rehabilitation (Kesey 5). Most forms of treatment depicted in Kesey’s novel, such as group therapy, are an accurate representation of what typical psychiatric patients may encounter while under care at a mental facility. Yet others, particularly electroshock therapy and lobotomies, were quite controversial at the time of the novel’s publication. Such treatments were questioned for their effectiveness at improving patients’ condition – and while these procedures were still occasionally performed at the time, they often did not benefit the treated individual. Often painful and traumatic, these treatments physically degraded the patient’s mental status; and in extreme
“He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum” (Kesey 154). In this modern world, to come to terms with society is to conform to its standards. When a person does not fit the standard mold of a society, they are scrutinized for their divergence. Forcing people to follow a societal norm is detrimental to the health of the mind and body. The struggle between conformers and non conformers creates a schism in society. In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey asserts the overarching importance of individuality through the use of a conflict between the patients and the nurse as a microcosm of society.
From our early childhood years through adulthood, being different from others is viewed as eccentric and not consistent with societal ideals. Not fitting into a traditional group opens the door for stereotypes and stigmas to arise. False accusations and perceptions segue into a harmful societal path, which is particularly true regarding the topic of mental illness. Once general stereotypes and stigmas begin to form it leads to isolation. The effects of mental illness and the treatment of patients in institutions are explored in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Kesey’s examination reveals the root of the stereotypes and the reinforcement that is built around them. In One Flew over