"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
“One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” is a book written by Ken Kesey about a group of men living in an unforgiving mental ward, filled with many unjust guidelines and rules. In that book, it tells the story of Chief Bromden, a patient at a mental ward, and Randle McMurphy, another patient who has recently been admitted into the mental ward. When McMurphy arrives, he begins to stir up trouble with Nurse Ratched, who controls everything and everyone in the ward. McMurphy goes against most, if not all, the rules that the nurse has in place because he realizes that her rules are unfair, and that her actions and behavior are not justifiable. McMurphy doesn't believe in a world full of conformists, where everyone is the same, and where life revolves
Due to Nurse Ratched using her manipulative skills allowing McMurphy to attack her, he is then sent to Disturbed and receives a lobotomy. Several patients check themselves out of the institution before McMurphy even arrives back at the ward. Once he finally returns, his friends do not believe that the lobotomized individual is in fact McMurphy. Chief Bromden knows right away that he is indeed McMurphy, and begins to suffocate him (Evans 48-50). Suffocating Randle McMurphy allowed Chief to put McMurphy out of misery once and for all from Nurse Ratched and her wicked schemes of manipulation in 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
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
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
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.
In order to demonstrate the detrimental impact of societal institutions such as the mental hospital and the federal government on their subordinates, Ken Kesey captures the patients’ endeavor to become whole again as they temporarily escape the Combine’s clutches within his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. At the beginning of Part 3, it appears Nurse Ratchet’s regime is nearly toppled and that the machinery has lost its control. In fact, McMurphy even draws “[laughs] out of some Acute who’d been scared to grin since he was twelve” and forms a basketball team for the inmates (175). Moreover, Chief Bromden speaks for the first time in years and achieves an erection after his pivotal conversation. Clearly, Kesey indicates the decline of the matriarchy and as a result, portrays the patients as regaining their masculinity. Formerly,
Nurse Ratched has control over every guy in the hospital because she decides what they are doing every day when they wake up. She has brainwashed the men into think they need her. Vera has manipulated her husband Dale into thinking he is disgusting. Billy’s mother has emasculated him by deciding everything for him and letting him have no control over his own life. The men in this novel have lost their manhood to women who have manipulated them and they are too blind to see it till McMurphy shows them. By signing out of the hospital some men are showing that they are ready to have control over their own lives again and gain back the power and masculinity they
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
The conflict between the two main character's Nurse Ratched and McMurphy serves as a bridge for the overarching theme of sexuality. Or to be more specific the battle of sexuality. In the book the two main characters represent both sides of the spectrum when it comes to sexuality concerning genders. Nurse Ratched represents feminism and McMurphy represents masculinity. With the two conflicting views of how the character’s believe the institution for the mentally ill should be run you can see more of the juxtaposition between the two. Nurse Ratched who ruled with an iron handed fist to keep her distance away from the patients of the ward and establish her role of a women in power in the institution. This from the beginning of the book sets a
The movie “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” gives an inside look into the life of a patient living in a mental institution; helping to give a new definition of mental illnesses. From a medical standpoint, determinants of mental illness are considered to be internal; physically and in the mind, while they are seen as external; in the environment or the person’s social situation, from a sociological perspective (Stockton, 2014). Additionally, the movie also explores the idea of power relations that exist between an authorized person (Nurse Ratched) and a patient and further looks into the punishment a deviant actor receives (ie. McMurphy contesting Nurse Ratched).
In Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, focuses on the destruction of the patient’s way of life caused by Nurse Ratched emitting fog to continue running a perfect combine machine, or system, throughout the ward. Nurse Ratched has continued to run a perfect system on the ward, and now that McMurphy is determined to rebel against her, she makes a fog appear to stop rebellious actions from happening. After McMurphy failed to switch the television to the time when the World Series game is on, Nurse Ratched “[switched] the fog machine on” and has began rolling in quickly to where the patients are “lost in it” to feel “safe again” (101). In this particular spot, Kesey provides an image of how the fog affects the patients. The fog prevents
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
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