Good Life In Cuckoo's Nest By Ken Kesey

782 Words4 Pages

What is the good life? Nietzsche argues that humans should seek power in order to have a good life. On the opposite spectrum, Hedonism argues that we should seek pleasure in order to have a good life. The book Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey raises the question of whether or not Nietzsche’s view of the good life is correct and if it is better to seek pleasure over power. Nurse Ratched is the head nurse of the mental health ward. She is in control of everything concerning the ward, which makes the patients fear her, for she has the ability to punish them. McMurphy, a patient in the mental health ward, causes a disruption to Ratched’s power. He teaches the other patients to stand up for what they want and not completely give up their voices to the …show more content…

Throughout the book, there is a struggle for power amongst both parties and neither one is satisfied with the outcome. A majority of the patients voluntarily submitted themselves to the hospital. Billy stammers, “‘You think I wouldn’t like a con-con-vertible and a guh-guh-girl friend? But did you ever have people l-l-laughing at you? No, because you’re so b-big and so tough! Well, I’m not big and tough”(195). The patients are scared of society, scared of the people because of their opinions. Ratched feeds off the patients fear of her and their powerlessness in the ward, yet she continues to be power hungry. With McMurphy starting the opposition towards the Nurse, her authority is no longer being respected and she no longer has the power to control the patients. “She tried to get her ward back into shape, but it was difficult with McMurphy’s presence still tromping up and down the halls and laughing out loud in the meetings and singing in the latrines. She couldn’t rule with her old power any more, not by writing things on pieces of paper”(320-321). With McMurphy being the leader of the opposition towards the Nurse, she needs to find new means of controlling the patients. Before McMurphy came to the ward there was

Open Document