In Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey provides a storyline about personal experiences he saw occur in a mental asylum. Ken Kesey worked as a staff member in an insane asylum in Oregon. When he wrote the book, he was providing personal memories about the patients and other workers into a story. The entire novel is about patients that are checked into a mental asylum, and their unwillingness to act against the nurse. Throughout the novel, there is a theme of “manipulation” implied. The theme that manipulation is only a powerful tool if the victim is weak enough to not resist it is revealed through the conflict between Nurse Ratched and the patients in the mental institution.
A line of identically dressed men lined up perfectly, versus men in their own clothes conversing with each other in clumps. A meticulously calculated routine with no room for changes versus general rules that allow for freedom. A tight, pristine white uniform versus boxers covered in cartoon whales. Conformity versus individuality. In the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, one of the themes explored is the battle between conformity and individuality. This battle is hashed out between the two characters: Nurse Ratched and Randle McMurphy.
At some time-- perhaps in your childhood-- you may have been allowed to get away with flouting the rules of society” (Kesey171). Nurse Ratched said this to all the patients at the ward one day regarding them rebelling against the rules. This quote really showed how manipulative and mean Nurse Ratched could be. Ever since McMurphy came to the ward, everyone there decided to start a rebellion against Nurse Ratched and the ward policy. Many examples such as when McMurphy was carousing around the halls in his underwear, people not doing their chores, asking to change the schedule to watch the baseball game and breaking the nurse’s window to take back their cigarettes show there is a difference in the air at the ward.
In order to demonstrate the detrimental impact of societal institutions such as the mental hospital and the federal government on their subordinates, Ken Kesey captures the patients’ endeavor to become whole again as they temporarily escape the Combine’s clutches within his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. At the beginning of Part 3, it appears Nurse Ratchet’s regime is nearly toppled and that the machinery has lost its control. In fact, McMurphy even draws “[laughs] out of some Acute who’d been scared to grin since he was twelve” and forms a basketball team for the inmates (175). Moreover, Chief Bromden speaks for the first time in years and achieves an erection after his pivotal conversation. Clearly, Kesey indicates the decline of the matriarchy and as a result, portrays the patients as regaining their masculinity. Formerly,
Is precisely expressed through Nurse Ratched and McMurphy’s relationship and their effect on the patients in the ward. Nurse Ratched is the antagonist in the book, she is the authoritative figure to the men in the institution and she is determined to continue to abuse her power over the men and remain in control. She emasculates the men in different ways to rid any chance of rebellion, Harding, remarks, “we are victims of a matriarchy here” (Kesey, 16). A few ways she emasculates men are by using public humiliation and embarrassment against the patients to exposes their greatest insecurities, controlling the direction of the conversation and the questions asked throughout a therapy session, but by also manipulating the patients to turn on each other so they remain occupied rather than work together to rebel against her.
“One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest” is a film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the novel by Ken Kesey. The Film was released in 1975. It is the story of a convicted man, trying to outsmart the American legal system by playing mentally ill. The film starts at the beginning when the main character, Randle McMurphy, enters the mental institution. It won 6 Golden Globes as well as 5 Oscars and many other nominations. What separates this film from others is its’ use of movie devices and techniques, as well as the emotionally charged story.
In novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, a leader organizes a group of mental patients and rebels against the figurehead of the broken institutional system of the mental hospital. McMurphy pushes The institutions rules of order, bringing out the evil in the situation. Bromden, due to his bias narration, misconstrues Nurse Ratched as the antagonist where, in truth, she falsifies this by trying to maintain order and by ultimately seeking the best for her patients.
The novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey tells the story of a group of patients in a 1960s psychiatric hospital. The novel is told from the perspective of one of the patients who, up until the very end of the story, is mute. This character is named Bromden and because of the fact that he doesn’t speak, people think he is deaf. Bromden is in the psychiatric hospital because, although its is unclear whether he actually is skitzophrenic, he has been diagnosed as such. Bromden and many other psychiatric patients live in this ward, under the “command” of Nurse Ratched, nicknamed “Big Nurse”. Nurse Ratched is very bossy and strict with the patients in the ward. Many of the patients find her intimidating, until a new patient shows up
There is no freedom amongst the people without a little chaos, yet to maintain order, there must be oppression towards its people. McMurphy upsets the established routine of the ward by bring his own agenda such as, asking for schedule changes and inspiring resistance during therapy sessions. He teaches his peers to have fun and encourages them to embrace their desires such as watching baseball and playing cards. “If somebody’d of come in and took a look, men watching a blank TV, a fifty-year –old woman hollering and squealing at the back of their heads about discipline and order and recriminations, they’d of thought the whole bunch was crazy as loons” (Kesey 134). He convinces them that not only are they sane like everyone else, but also they are men and they are superior to the matriarchal society they are put in.
In Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’ the main character and narrator, Chief Bromden, is noticeably stuck inside his own head as he acts deaf and dumb to escape the pressures of being a part of something. As the novel moves on, for someone who’s perception of living is to stay transparent and withdrawn totally inside himself the Chief takes a transformation from his delusional mind and gains strength physically and mentally, creating a journey towards freedom and finally, breaking free from the ward and from himself. Kesey uses the transformation to unravel a number of ideas about the importance of freedom and explores how the pressures of society can lead individuals to conform within themselves. The theories Chief believes
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
“ 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.
Kesey has created Nurse Ratched as a representation of how the ward works. Nurse Ratched works the ward like a combine, when something goes in; broken pieces become the end result. When Nurse Ratched loses her first battle with McMurphy, she ends up “hollering and squealing” about the “discipline and order” she has instilled throughout her years working in the ward (128). Here, Kesey presents how this small act of rebellion affects Ratched system she has perfected over the years. Even though she is screaming about discipline and order, the patients continue to ignore her pleas and sit in front of the television watching nothing.
All of the patients on the ward presume that Mcmurphy
Another point to note was that McMurphy seems abnormal among the patients. Especially with his laugh, I kept thinking that he might be mentally ill and not fake it (Kesey). But if you just imagine his behavior outside of the asylum, then it seems normal. This phenomenon is well known in psychology. It says that person once convicted of mental illness have an uphill battle to prove that he is not.