One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Essay

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest written, by Ken Kesey, is a novel that takes place in a psychiatric hospital during the 1950s and is told through the perspective of Chief Bromden, a schizophrenic patient within the ward. Patients in this ward are divided into two categories. There are Chronics. These are patients that have no hope of being treated or cured. Secondly, there are acute patients who are still treatable and capable of some independent functioning. Chief Bromden is a chronic, deaf half-Native American who has witnessed physical abuse and verbal torment from the aides for decades. This institution is monitored by the head of Nurse Ratched otherwise known as The Big Nurse. The nickname comes from the multiple patients living in the …show more content…

This encouragement can be seen through this quote, ‘It isn't the stink that keeps them away from the chronic side so much that they don't like being reminded that here's what could happen to them someday. Nurse Ratched recognizes this fear …[use this to prevent bad behaviour by] pointing out to [the acutes] that “you boys be good boys and cooperate with the staff policy …or you'll end up on that side”’ (Kesey 17). The acute patients describe feeling afraid of the outcome of their bad behaviour as can consequences for them. When watching and hearing what Nurse Ratched recounts about chronic patients they are repelled away in fear of being stuck in a vegetative state or stuck in a wheelchair. To control both groups more effectively, Nurse Ratched encourages this division and provides rewards to well-behaved patients for example extra sleep time or more food, but if someone disobeys the rules there is the fear of punishment. Nursing Ratched manipulates the behaviour of her patients by utilizing the fear of becoming a wheeler or vegetable and due to their fear of becoming chronic, acutes are less likely to misbehave or act …show more content…

The use of medication is one way in which she demonstrates this. During a ward meeting a patient known as Taber begins to misbehave. Unable to calm him down the aides must hold him down, ‘They push his face down on the mattress. One sits on his head and the other rips his pants open in the back and peels the cloth… The nurse comes down the hall, smearing Vaseline on a long needle [injecting him in the rear]’ (Kesey 32). After receiving the medication Taber is calm and obeys with zero hesitation. When forcefully injecting the patients with a sedative Nurse Ratched maintains a peaceful and controlled environment. Disobedience is not tolerated within the walls of the ward and the medications used help keep the misbehaviours at a minimum. As a result, the patient is left disoriented and relaxed, and no longer poses a danger to the nurse's rules or control. Furthermore, this can connect to the idea of fear within the hospital shown through the fear of being injected when disobeying and keeping the patients in

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