Ken Kesey’s, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest presents a confronting satire, in which Nurse Ratched’s oppressive and tyrannical government in the ward prevents freedom and self-expression. Nurse Ratched’s manipulation of patients and tyrannical rule over the ward is comparable to Adolf Hitler’s rule over Nazi Germany. Similar to Adolf Hitler, an egomaniac, Nurse Ratched, portrays institutional authorities, mercilessly punishing patients and manipulating them into conforming with her ideas of a perfect society. The asylum “hum[s] hate and death”
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
Author Ken Kesey, in his novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, exemplifies that people can be both mentally and psychically manipulated. He supports his claim by first using examples, then using analysis, and finally using rhetorical questions. Kesey’s purpose is to enlighten the reader in order to exemplify the idea that everything is not always what it seems. He adopts a dark tone for the reader.
One main event that occurs in the first third of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is the first group meeting Mr. McMurphy joined on the ward. Nurse Ratched begins to talk about another patient named Harding, and his issues with his wife. After listening to what the nurse had to say, McMurphy made an inappropriate joke concerning the matter of Harding’s wife. Everyone was amused with his joke, except for Nurse Ratched. She retaliates by reading Mr. McMurphy’s file out loud for everyone to hear. This was the first time as a reader I got to hear about McMurphy’s history and why he was put on the ward. She reads how Mr. McMurphy is 35, never married, was dishonorably discharged from war in Korea, has a prolonged history of street
Overall, social control contributes many roles in the film. Each character displays at least one characteristic or trait of social control. They eventually all become institutionalized and undergo some major personal changes, whether good or bad. The hospital keeps a very set day for all of them, and throughout the building there is status hierarchy. They must all adjust to their lives there, and for some they cannot survive outside of that environment. Many of them lose themselves and become depersonalized and institutionalized, not being able to ever live a normal life outside of that type of
Nurse Ratched, a female who is head of the ward, attempts to hide her femininity so the men respect her power. At the beginning of the novel, Bromden is describing the Nurse’s appearance. He states, “A mistake was made somehow in manufacturing, putting those big, womanly breasts on what would of otherwise been a perfect work, and you can see how bitter she is about it” (6). Bromden explains that the Big Nurse is a “perfect work” because she is physically commanding which makes her an effective leader. However, “a mistake was made”, and this error is the
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.
"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
In Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’ the main character and narrator, Chief Bromden, is noticeably stuck inside his own head as he acts deaf and dumb to escape the pressures of being a part of something. As the novel moves on, for someone who’s perception of living is to stay transparent and withdrawn totally inside himself the Chief takes a transformation from his delusional mind and gains strength physically and mentally, creating a journey towards freedom and finally, breaking free from the ward and from himself. Kesey uses the transformation to unravel a number of ideas about the importance of freedom and explores how the pressures of society can lead individuals to conform within themselves. The theories Chief believes
Weather in literature is often used to symbolize the mood or mental state in which a character experiences. For example, rain is commonly associated with sadness. As it is commonly identified, fog is a cloudy element of weather that affects one’s ability to see clearly, however, it is also used in literature to represent a character’s lack of clarity. Throughout One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, the motif of fog is used to represent the mental instability and confusion Bromden experiences under Nurse Ratched’s ward. As the story progresses and Bromden gains confidence, the fog diminishes and he is able to overcome the Big Nurse.
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
Nurse Ratched’s desire for control, in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, allows her to manipulate the entire hospital ward into believing her work is for the betterment of the patients. Significantly, Nurse Ratched appears doll-like: hair in a tight bun, a neatly pressed uniform, and “too-red” lipstick (48). Traditionally, dolls, like other toys, are made to occupy the unruly minds of young children. By comparing Nurse Ratched to a child’s toy, Kesey implies she is a mere distraction to the patients from their mental impairments. While the Big Nurse may look flawless, her porcelain exterior is a mask to her true personality. Her appearance indicates a polished, helpful treatment for incoming patients, but this twisted perfection
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. He also takes all of the patients out on a fishing trip, and one night he turns her whole ward into a party room. These changes of setting help the patients of the ward escape some of Nurse Ratched’s domination. In the end, thanks to McMurphy, Chief is able to instigate a change of scenery for himself, and he escapes the ward
In the drama film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest, Patrick McMurphy was moved from a prison farm to a mental institution to get evaluated for his erratic behavior. Upon being transported to the institution, all his assumptions about his new home were completely wrong. The head nurse, Nurse Ratched, has the whole hospital under her control with little to no freedom for the patients. All the inmates at the institution go through rigorous training to become obedient to Nurse Ratched and her strict schedule and rules. The institution was a very controlled environment with the patients having no control over their own life’s while there. There are four characteristics of a controlled environment and they include the following: status hierarchy,
The novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey tells the story of a group of patients in a 1960s psychiatric hospital. The novel is told from the perspective of one of the patients who, up until the very end of the story, is mute. This character is named Bromden and because of the fact that he doesn’t speak, people think he is deaf. Bromden is in the psychiatric hospital because, although its is unclear whether he actually is skitzophrenic, he has been diagnosed as such. Bromden and many other psychiatric patients live in this ward, under the “command” of Nurse Ratched, nicknamed “Big Nurse”. 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