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. Both McMurphy and Nurse Ratched approached their leadership in different ways. McMurphy uses transformational leadership, which is a leader that “must perform some combination of the transactional functions (plan, direct, organize, control) in order to build respect and trust… [and the] leader gets people to work towards some higher purpose or goal” (O’Connor). In other words, it is a leader who achieves a “higher goal”, while “build[ing] respect and trust” from the people. On the other hand, Nurse Ratched uses authoritarian leadership, which is when “Policies [are] determined by the leader. [The] leader determines what each member should do and with whom he should work… Some find it difficult to diffuse authority… [which] causes some to feel threatened and insecure” (Sferra). More simply, an authoritative leader is one that has supreme power over the people. McMurphy’s transformational
Society, It is always changing, just like the people in it. No one wants to look out of place in the world so they do what they can to fit in. Everyone does it differently it might be acting a certain way, or changing style, but with fitting in comes rejection. Just like trying to fit in, dealing with rejection is done differently, most people try to fix the problem before they start to get labeled. In the book “One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest” Ken Kesey shows that the “insanity” of the patients is really just normal insecurities and their label as insane by society is immoral. This appears in the book concerning Billy Bibbits problem with his mom, Harding's problems with his wife, and that the patients are in the ward
Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, published in 1962, tells the story of men in a psychiatric ward and focuses on two characters called McMurphy and Bromden, and their defiance towards the institution’s system. A critical factor in this novel are the women. The 1960’s played a significant role in changing the norms of social issues, and the perfect idea of women was changing too. Women were no longer just stay at home wives, but had their own voice in society, and many people did not agree with these untraditional views. Kesey’s representation of women in this novel illustrate them in a poor light that makes it obvious that they don’t fit the ideal womanly persona. 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
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, considers the qualities in which society determines sanity. The label of insanity is given when someone is different from the perceived norm. Conversely, a person is perceived as sane when their behavior is consistent with the beliefs of the majority. Although the characters of this novel are patients of a mental institution, they all show qualities of sanity. The book is narrated by Chief Brodmen, an observant chronic psychiatric patient, who many believe to be deaf and dumb. The question of sanity becomes apparent when McMurphy, a confident gambler, who might have faked psychosis in order to get out of the work farm, is assigned to the mental hospital. He quickly stirs up tension in the ward for Nurse Ratched by encouraging the men to have fun and rebel against her rules.
The Beat Generation of the 1950’s and early 1960’s encouraged a new lifestyle for young Americans striving for individualism and freedom, which included rock and roll music, long hair, relaxed style attire, vegetarianism, and experimenting with drugs (“Beat Movement”). Many young Americans of this era wanted to experiment with new social and cultural concepts, rebelling against “normal” American life. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, written by Ken Kesey, portrays the gruesomeness of conformity through the lives of patients in one of the asylum’s wards. The novel shows how the patients are confined to strict rules and limited freedom because of Nurse Ratched’s power. The Beat Generation wanted change because of this conformity, by rebelling against the rules and structure of society. In the text, Kesey implies that conformity is damaging because he believed that conformity and mental institutions negatively impact the patients by destroying their self-esteem, while many in the ‘50s and early ‘60s believed mental institutions helped someone become a normal member of society.
Literature, old or modern, has always been subject to criticism and judgement due to the issues that exist within classic novels. Whether the issue contains profanity, violence, or content too mature for young readers, award-winning books’ existences receive threats to be banned and forgotten. Unfortunately for Ken Kesey’s classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, this may be the only course of action. While the novel displays violence unsuitable for high-school curriculums, Ken Kesey’s classic should be in every library for adult readers. Although the novel teaches valuable life lessons about individuality and is mild compared to modern media, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest should be banned in all high school curriculums because it incorporates
To dehumanize someone is to strip an individual of their individuality including their human attributes and qualities. For as long as mental illnesses have been known, people have treated those with illnesses much differently. A particular assertion i tend to agree with is that people who have mental disorders are always dehumanized in some way. This dehumanization is shown in One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest alongside other perspectives such as a live and pop culture point of view.
In Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, humor is present in an influential form. Not all insane people have the capacity to laugh or find the humor in something as would normal people are capable of. Most people live terrible realities, drifting day by day in the plain, depressing in the place of an asylum. Patients have forgotten how to live because they are under the commanding rule of the head nurse, and under the behavior effect of drug doses and overbearing orderlies. The patients’ laughter is a therapeutic form. In the novel laughter play a major role by representing a type of freedom and an escape from nurse Ratched’s restrictions.
Ken Kesey’s comic novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, takes place in an all-male psychiatric ward. The head of the ward, Big Nurse Ratched, is female. Kesey explores the power-struggle that takes place when the characters challenge gender dynamics in this environment. One newly-arrived patient, McMurphy, leads the men against the Big Nurse. The story is told through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a patient who learns from McMurphy and fights for his freedom. In Ken Kesey’s comic novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, gender is a definer of one's power in the hospital, and this leads to Nurse Ratched hiding her femininity, the patients’ attempts to boost their own masculinity, and both sides trying to expose the other. Kesey uses these examples to explain that men cannot handle a female leader.
"Nothing builds authority up like silence, splendor of the strong and shelter of the weak" (Charles de Gaulle). This idea is reflected in Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, where it is shown how authority becomes more powerful by abusing the silence of the people. This silence is literally and figuratively represented through Chief Bromden, a longtime patient of a psychiatric ward during the 1960s in the United States. Bromden, along with all the other patients in the ward, religiously abide by the rules and regulations enforced by the ward administration, particularly Nurse Ratched, a strict and abusive manipulator who does anything in order to maintain her power. This power dynamic quickly evolves
“He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum” (Kesey 154). In this modern world, to come to terms with society is to conform to its standards. When a person does not fit the standard mold of a society, they are scrutinized for their divergence. Forcing people to follow a societal norm is detrimental to the health of the mind and body. The struggle between conformers and non conformers creates a schism in society. In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey asserts the overarching importance of individuality through the use of a conflict between the patients and the nurse as a microcosm of society.
In Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest the biggest enemy in the book is the "Combine." The Combine is the oppressive force that keeps society intact and send them to the hospital ward to be "fixed." The whole book has a major emphasis on the combine and how it oppresses individuals into comforting to a mundane mechanized structure of life. It also tries to lesson the value of an individual person, trying to fix their personality to the way society wants it be, not who the person really is. The biggest theme Kesey was trying to get across was how oppressive and mechanized modern society is. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nests "combine" was the perfect way to get this across.
The 1950s, the context of which One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a novel by Ken Kesey, was written, was called the Era of Conformity. During this time, the American social atmosphere was quiet conformed, in that everyone was expected to follow the same, fixed format of behavior in society, and the ones who stand out of being not the same would likely be “beaten down” by the social norms. In the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Kesey argues that it is immoral for society to simply push its beliefs onto the people who are deemed different, as it is unfair and could lead to destructive results.
Ken Kesey uses his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, to describe the lives of patients in a mental institution, and their struggle to overcome the oppressive authority under which they are living. Told from the point of view of a supposedly mute schizophrenic, the novel also shines a light on the many disorders present in the patients, as well as how their illnesses affect their lives during a time when little known about these disorders, and when patients living with these illnesses were seen as an extreme threat. Chief Bromden, the narrator of the novel, has many mental illnesses, but he learns to accept himself and embrace his differences. Through the heroism introduced through Randle McMurphy, Chief becomes confident in himself, and is ultimately able to escape from the toxic environment Nurse Ratched has created on the ward. Chief has many disorders including schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and, in addition to these illnesses, he pretends to be deaf and dumb. This combination of many mind and life altering diagnoses leads to an interesting point of view, and a deeper look into the lives of people living with the
Ken Kesey author of the fictional novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest published in 1962 has taken the opportunity to write about the hippy culture and how society shames difference. Readers are taken to a mental institution in Oregon in the 1950’s and experience what it is like for the outcast people. The men in the ward are run by Nurse Ratched and have lost control of themselves. Majority of these men are in the mental hospital because they have checked themselves in, but not McMurphy he is a convict there for psych evaluation. Do to Nurse Ratched the men loses control over themselves and they haven’t realized till McMurphy walked through the door. In Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, women are portrayed as the power figures