How Is One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Related To Psychology

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Perhaps no movie has as many connections to the field of psychology quite like the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The movie follows a criminal, Randle McMurphy, and his stay in a mental asylum as he attempts to escape jail time. While there, McMurphy meets many colorful characters, as well as the head nurse, Nurse Mildred Ratched. Over time, viewers see not only McMurphy’s story, but also get a look into how people in mental asylums are treated. As a result of this inside look, this movie may have led to changes in how mental patients are dealt with. In essence, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest portrays Freud’s theory of personality, which states that the human psyche consists of three different parts: the id, superego, and ego. This theory ties in well with the movie as the theory is represented in three of the movie’s characters. Randle McMurphy, the movie’s lead, represents the id. Nurse Ratched, the antagonist of the movie, represents the superego. Chief Bromden (a close friend of McMurphy’s during his stay in the asylum) is a balance of the two and represents the ego. Freud’s theory of personality states that the id, ego, and superego …show more content…

He works through impulses and does not seem to care about the consequences of his actions. Near the middle of the movie, he commandeers a bus heading out of the asylum, and when asked about getting caught, he simply says that it doesn’t matter because they’re “nuts” (Douglas et al., 1975). He doesn’t place much importance in the risks associated with stealing a bus and fishing vessel, as the instant happiness he gets from going fishing is greater than the risks associated with stealing (pleasure principle). In the end of the movie, McMurphy lets his id overcome him completely as he tries to strangle Nurse Ratched. At that point, he neither thinks about the consequences nor cares, as he is being controlled only by his impulses with no sense of the morality of his

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