One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Feminist Analysis

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The feminist movement has been trying to prove to the world that women and men are created equal. During the 1960s, the civil rights movement also began, and Ken Kesey had the same opinion about both these issues as most white men. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey implies a misogynistic stance by showing women will abuse their authority if they do not live their lives to please men, and that a woman’s natural place in the world is to be used by men. There are very few women in this novel. The most prominent woman in the novel is Nurse Ratched. Nurse Ratched exposes the men’s weaknesses by getting each of them to point out each other’s flaws. Kesey shows that when women hold leadership roles, it takes away a man 's ability to be a man and leaves the man with physical damage. In the story, McMurphy explains to Harding about Nurse Ratched and how she is manipulating the men, using her influence to emasculate them. He says, “The hell with that; she’s a bitch and a buzzard and a ball-cutter, and don’t kid me, you know what I’m talking about” (Kesey, 61). By using the phrase “ball-cutter,” Kesey implies that because she is a woman and has more power than the men, she is depriving them of what makes them a man. This theme of “ball-cutting” is prevalent in the novel as the majority of women continue to abuse their authority over the men, causing them to maintain symptoms of mental illness until they can get their manliness back. Kesey continues to demonstrate his
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