Examples Of Femininity In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Power Through Sexuality As the first woman prime minister Margaret Thatcher once said, “In politics, If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman” (Goodreads). Women have traditionally been relegated to household roles while men have held positions of power. In Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, this role is switched as an oppressive Nurse Ratched dominates a psychiatric ward and imposes her will upon the emasculated men of the ward. The story revolves around the power struggle between Nurse Ratched and boisterous newcomer Randle McMurphy. McMurphy realizes that much of her control comes from her lack of femininity and as…show more content…
Kesey supports traditional gender expectations in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest through the appearance of Nurse Ratched,…show more content…
He establishes the connection between masculinity and by emphasizing the effort Nurse Ratched puts forth to hide her feminine features. This connection is again highlighted after Billy performs a masculine act and is able to resist the Nurse’s control. In society, women are routinely placed in submissive roles while men get to enjoy the positions of power. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest furthers this idea by stressing the necessity to hide all femininity in order to gain a position of power not traditionally held by women. Nurse Ratched is only able to gain such an iron grip over the patients by taking away from the masculinity of them. This can be seen in the everyday world where femininity is interpreted as weakness. Essentially, Kesey is conveying that for woman to rise in society, it is necessary to shed femininity and embrace masculinity; in doing so, traditional gender roles are
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