Is Billy The Misfit In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Character Analysis for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - Billy Bibbit Billy Bibbit derives his sense of self from other people in his life and allows society to determine how he views and treats himself. Billy the mama’s boy. Billy the coward. Billy the misfit. All of these impressions of Billy Bibbit come from the world around him, but have over time greatly influenced his inner life. Billy is very sensitive to others’ opinions, so sensitive that he tends to internalize judgements made about him until they become his own thoughts and perceptions of himself. From the first word he speaks, Billy is afflicted by a severe stutter and dangerously low self-esteem. It is no coincidence that the first word Billy ever stutters is “mamma”. She is the definition of overbearing, and the relationship she has formed with her son damages him psychologically in many different respects. As the primary…show more content…
It all comes down to “guts! [He] could go outside right now if [he] had the guts” (195). Billy has been told his whole life by his mother, peers, and later Nurse Ratched that he does not and will never be able to fit in. The “deadly, pointing forefinger of society” has always been pointed at him and he has always heard “the voice of millions shouting ‘shame, shame, shame’” (308). Billy has allowed others to convince him that he belongs in the margins -- the mental hospital -- instead of out in the real world. Though she keeps him there to protect him, Billy’s mother is actually reinforcing his perception of himself as weak and unable to function outside of Nurse Ratched’s ward. The influence Billy’s mother has over him is merely the catalyst for all for his problems. Billy has the capacity to change and become confident and self-sufficient. He is an adult who can make his own decisions, but is still “controlled by thoughts and perceptions of himself” (Kanye
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