1. In the novel, women are portrayed as mean and feared beings. They are somewhat compared to as evil monsters. An example of this in the passage is on pages 4 and 5. It says, “They sense she’s glaring down at them now, but its too late. They should’ve known better...” This shows the fear the men have after being caught by Nurse Ratched. They are scared by her and fear her actions. Another example of this is on pages 4 and 5, is “She’s going to tear the black bastards limb from limb, she’s so furious. She’s swelling up, swells till her back’s splitting out the white uniform and she’s let her arms section out long enough to wrap around the three of them five, six times. She looks around her with a swivel of her huge head.” This shows the fear
Nurse Ratched was very controlling and wanted complete power. This caused many of the patients to rebel and break loose from her control. McMurphy lead the ward in this uprising. From brushing his teeth too early to sneaking prostitutes into the ward, he shows Nurse Ratched that she cannot rule him. This story reminded me of Malala Yousafzai and her retaliation against the Taliban.
This reveals that after constant manipulation the victims brain is traumatized and is left with an ability to find change. Lastly, most men in the ward find Nurse Ratched to be scary and something to be reckoned with. The fear of Nurse Ratched causes the men to see most women as scary monsters and something to be hated. For example Harding is revealed to have many problems with his wife. “Touch upon the—subject, Mr. McMurry, the subject of Mr. Harding’s problem with his wife” (Kesey, 436).
Kesey has used characterisation to get the idea that in this novel there are aspects of venerability and strength. In Nurse Ratched’s case, Kesey has made it so that she is shown with strength and power over the whole ward, including the black men in white, other nurses, and mainly the patients. An example of Nurse Ratched’s power over the patients is when she says to Billy Bibbit, “What worries me, Billy, ' she said- I could hear the change in her voice- 'is how your mother is going to take this.” This shows how one sentence was able to debilitate Billy into begging Nurse for forgiveness and restraint of telling his mother.
This battle is hashed out between the two characters: Nurse Ratched and Randle McMurphy. In McMurphy’s world of individuality, everything is laid back, cheerful and lighthearted, while the Nurse’s world of conformity is uptight, heartless and mechanical. Nurse’s conformist attitude is reflected through her reaction to McMurphy’s singing, and walking around in a towel. Once she processes McMurphy’s disregard for ward policy, “her nostrils flare open...when she rumbles past she’s already big as a truck, trailing that wicker bag behind her exaust like a semi behind a Jimmy Diesel” (87).
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.
Throughout the beginning of the novel it is evident that some characters over use their powers, one of these characters being Nurse Ratched. Nurse Ratched uses her position in the ward to take advantage of the patients and make sure that they adhere to everyone of her daunting commands. Nurse Ratched “tends to get real put out if something keeps her outfit from running like a smooth, accurate, precision-made machine” (Kesey 28) because she has been on the ward for so long that when something doesn 't go according to her plan, she starts to get mad and will often try to use her power to come down on the patient 's. Nurse Ratched is in control of the whole ward and when someone does something that isn 't in her manuscript she gets irritated. The ward will be run her way and only her way, “ under her rule the ward inside is almost completely adjusted to surroundings” (Kesey 28). She corrupts the hospital 's public relations personnel, patients, orderlies, and student nurses with her fallacious rapture for order. Not only does she choose the personnel, but she uses her power to make the black boys do work for her.
In the ward, the only individual capable of undermining Nurse Ratched’s power is Randle McMurphy. By blatantly disregarding the nurse’s strict rules, standing up for himself, and encouraging other patients to do so, he creates a situation that jeopardizes the order Nurse Ratched has created. When McMurphy manages to get a fishing trip approved, granted he gets ten other patients to sign up, Nurse Ratched uses malicious methods to thwart his plans: “The nurse started steadily bringing in clippings from the newspapers that told about wrecked boats and sudden storms on coast” (Kesey 178). In order to dismantle the immense progress McMurphy has made towards changing the attitudes of the patients, Nurse Ratched discourages them from attending his trip. Her motive in doing this is to have the patients lose faith in McMurphy, ultimately destroying the influence he has over them.
Throughout Ken Kesey’s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the balance of power is challenged in the psychiatric ward. Out of the several leaders that appear in the novel, Nurse Ratched and McMurphy are the most prominent. During Nurse Ratched and McMurphy struggle for power, they share many of the same qualities. It is argued that: “McMurphy and Ratched are alike in intelligence, military service, distinctive (if opposite) clothing, and conventionally masculine qualities” (Evans). These small similarities; however, do not distract the characters from fighting for their individual beliefs.
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.
Ratched’s “tyrant-like” personality is no longer powerful in the institution. The manipulative behavior of the Nurse is finally defeated and all of the victims are now powerful and willing to fight against her power. Due to Nurse Ratched using her manipulative skills allowing McMurphy to attack her, he is then sent to Disturbed and receives a lobotomy. Several patients check themselves out of the institution before McMurphy even arrives back at the ward. Once he finally returns, his friends do not believe that the lobotomized individual is in fact McMurphy.
Nurse Ratched is the main antagonist who is a very cruel and manipulative nurse, in which all the characters seem to agree that she is out to get them. The other main female role is a hooker McMurphy knew before the hospital who plays a role of meeting the boys needs. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s
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. Kesey chooses Bromden as the narrator, by doing this, he introduces an element of skepticism for the audience as Brombden opposes the institution.
However, to Nurse Ratched, this window illustrates her dominance over the ward. “The Big Nurse watches all [that the patients do] through her window” (42). Kesey’s glass division between the sane and the insane demonstrates Nurse Ratched’s overall want of authority. Correspondingly, the Big Nurse is a wolf amongst the hospital full of rabbits. As Harding explains to McMurphy that the patients are essentially small rabbits in the forest that is the mental institution, he also notes that Nurse Ratched is the “strong wolf” that teaches the rabbits their place, much like the hierarchy of nature (61).
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