In the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, the major thematic idea that my project is focusing on is man versus machine because it represents how Chief Bromden views society and the ward as. In the beginning of the book, Chief describes how he perceives the ward by saying “the ward is a factory for the Combine. It’s for fixing up mistakes made in the neighborhoods and in the schools and in the churches, the hospital is. When a completed product goes back out into society, all fixed up good as new, better than new sometimes, it brings joy to the Big Nurse’s heart”(31). Basically, Bromden believes that everything is ran by the Combine. Nurse Ratched is the power and authority and she makes sure the “machine”, the ward, is running perfect. She set rules for all of the …show more content…
During a meeting, McMurphy ends up “dominating” it but Chief Bromden says, referring to Nurse Ratched that, “she’ll go on winning, just like the Combine, because she has all the power of the Combine behind her. She don’t lose on her losses, but she wins on ours”(88). This meaning that she will always win because she is the control in the ward. The Combine shapes all of the patients into their definition of perfection. McMurphy is the only person who has rebelled and tried to corrupt the system of the ward. Chief was talking about his beliefs which included McMurphy and says “how McMurphy was a giant come out of the sky to save us from the Combine that was networking the land with copper wire and crystal”(206). McMurphy gave all of the patients in the ward confidence again simply by not conforming to the Combine norms and going against everything Nurse Ratched was enforcing. It helped Chief Bromden realize that the Combine was nothing but his paranoia and he learned that if he doesn’t view the Big Nurse as the one with all of the power than she won’t have any of the power in the
“The ward is a factory for the combine. It’s for fixing up mistakes made in the neighborhoods and in the schools and in the churches, the hospital is.” As a combine factory fixes combines, the hospital in this case fixes the patients so they are able to run again. The hospital is the part of the combine that helps the seeds grow and get healthy, in society’s point of view. Without the hospital, the ill patients would not be able to be fixed.
Instantly you can feel the fear of the narrator, Chief Bromden, whom is also a patient. Early in the novel the nurse is described as strong and powerful, “Practice has steadied and strengthened her until now she wields a sure power that extends in all directions…”(Kesey 23) The sure depth of her power is illustrated here. Chief Bromden believe that Nurse Ratched is the face of the Combine - the machine he depicts as society. The Chief, believes that the Nurse is only part of the system not the broken system in and of itself.
In the beginning, McMurphy seems to be winning his conflicts with Nurse Ratched but she is merely waiting for the right moment, in anticipation for her opening. Nurse Ratched has crucial control over the patients and this is what makes McMurphy lose to Nurse Ratched. McMurphy finds out the reason why the other patients are in the ward when they say to him that
Everyone thinks he is, and Chief just goes along with it. Also, Chief might have PTSD from his experience during war. This may hold him back from standing his ground and showing his true self. McMurphy wants Chief’s help in overthrowing the hierarchy Ratched has established in order to help himself and the other patients. McMurphy convinces Chief to help lift the control panel and, “You (Chief) promise me that, and you not only get my body- buildin ' course for nothing
In Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," the fog that envelops Chief Bromden's mind serves as a powerful symbol for the psychological and social forces that shape individual identity while highlighting the importance of rebellion and resistance in the face of oppressive systems. In particular, the fog, which takes the formation of a recurring motif, represents the way in which oppressive systems can distort and erase individuality, rendering individuals powerless and disoriented. This condition has a substantial presence early on in the novel because none of the acutes in the psychiatric ward would dare to defy the administration of Nurse Ratched, a formidable figure who maintains strict control over the institution and its patients
Both McMurphy and Nurse Ratched demand for power in the ward but some of the things they do and get show exactly how much power they have over one another. The head of the ward is
The overarching allegory proposes that McMurphy--who is God--is lifeblood to the patients in the Combine (representative of Jesus’ disciples), and the only way they can be rescued is by investing in Him. Only the Messiah, the allegory claims, can save humanity from the bleak future it has created. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest suggests that the oppressive reality of the Combine is brought on by the presence of social constraints--in this case, the Therapeutic Community, which the Doctor says is a “democratic ward, run completely by the patients and their votes,” and the intention of which is to be “a little world Inside that is a made-to-scale prototype of the big world Outside” (Kesey 49-50). Such statements underscore the sheer hypocrisy the Combine operates and thrives on, as shown by the blatantly unjust World Series vote, where Nurse Ratched declared there were “forty patients...and only twenty voted” and “[they] must have a majority to change ward policy” (Kesey 140).
The patients respond to mcmurphy because he’s confident and uses the motif of laughter to gain their trust. He also places bets with the others, for instance Mcmurphy bet with the patient that he could lift an insanely heavy control panel which resulted in failure but taught the others a great lesson. When he realized he couldn't lift the control panel McMurphy said: "But I tried, though," he says. "Goddammit, I sure as hell did that much, now, didn’t I?"(kesey 125 ). His actions opened the eyes of the patients into believing that if they stood up to nurse together they would be successful.
His rebellious and free mind makes the patients open their eyes and see how the have been suppressed. His appearance is a breath of fresh air and a look into the outside world for the patients. This clearly weakens Nurse Ratched’s powers, and she sees him as a large threat. One way or another, McMurphy tends to instigate changes of scenery. He manages to move everyone away from her music and watchful eye into the old tube room.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest theme essay Tristan Andrews 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 Combine hasn’t got to him in all these years; what makes the nurse think she’s gonna be able to do it in a few weeks? He’s not gonna let them twist him and manufacture him” (32). Every patient in the novel fears the big nurse. McMurphy isn't scared of the big nurse at all because in his state he's just a human being who's a woman. He shows the men in hospital that it's okay to be the man you need to be in his establishment.
These elements keep the nurse in power, as many of the patients fear being the target of one of these meetings and worry that they will again be betrayed by others. By introducing order through these activities, Nurse Ratched undermines the safety of the patients that should be under her care and keeps them silent. Nurse Ratched's oppressive order is not only seen in a literal sense, but also through the attitudes of the patients under her care. Chief Bromden describes the nurse as being “able to set the wall clock at whatever speed she wants just by turning one of those dials“ (Kesey 70). Nurse Ratched’s control over the patients’ lives extends to the point where
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.
The author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Kesey, presents the ideas about venerability and strength by using his characters and the way they interact with each other to establish whether they are a submissive or a dominant, tamed or leading, venerable or strong. Kesey uses strong personalities to show the drastic difference between someone who is vulnerable and someone who is strong. Nurse Ratchet is a perfect example of how Kasey presents the idea of strength over the venerability of others (the patients). Keys also exhibited vulnerability throughout characters such as Chief Bromden and his extensive habit of hiding himself in all means possible from Nurse Ratchet. Another idea presented by Kesey is a character’s false thought on what
The movie was mostly focused on the feud between the warden/nurse Ms. Ratched and McMurphy. McMurphy tried to go against the hard-set plan set by the institution. More he tried to establish dominance and leadership within the group. This threatened the nurse’s ways of subduing patients, and they felt of less importance in their own institution. This led to a bitter rivalry and because of it the nurse tried to subdue, with same techniques as with other patients, McMurphy even after realizing that he was not a mentally unstable person.