One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest By Ken Kesey

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a novel written by Ken Kesey in the early 1960’s. This book displays a variety of different ideas that were coming of age during this time period. Kesey develops characters that are unique and are on different quests to find their self-knowledge and a cure for their illnesses. Kesey’s character, Nurse Ratched, is on a quest to maintain her power and dominance over the ward, the staff, and all the patients. She does this in a variety of different ways, although some think she ultimately fails at her quest at the end of the novel, she is still trying to hold true to what she is trying to do. Nurse Ratched displays her power over the ward by using the electroshock therapies and lobotomies as punishment. She uses the patients as examples of power because this scares the ward’s members into conforming to her rules and regulations. At the end of the novel, Ratched makes McMurphy go through a …show more content…

Kesey says, “You want to know who pecks that first peck?” … “It’s that old nurse, that’s who” (Kesey 55). This quote shows how Nurse Ratched is the one starting all the problems in the therapy sessions. She is setting certain people up to be attacked and pecked at until they are ripped to shreds that day, like the chicken analogy says. McMurphy has a conversation with Harding about Nurse Ratched being the reason for all the problems in the ward. McMurphy is saying how she is the one setting them up to be attacked and she is doing it on purpose. Nurse Ratched uses her authority against the men and trying to maintain that control over the ward. She is making the men turn against one another and convincing them they still need to be in the facility. He says Nurse Ratched is trying to assert her matriarchal dominance this way and trying to hold her powerful position, which is exactly the quest Nurse Ratched is

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