One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Reflection

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Cuckoo’s Nest Shared Inquiry Reflection When we first received the discussion questions for the Cuckoo’s Nest shared inquiry, I thought the answer to the first question was obvious. I believed that McMurphy triumphed by liberating others. I thought he acted as a Christ figure and selflessly sacrificed himself to save the other men of the ward. Although he eventually grew tired and lost the final battle against Nurse Ratched, he ultimately won the war for the men. He gave them the freedom to rebel against Nurse Ratched and leave the ward, and he also helped them rediscover their sexuality. I saw his influence as most prominent during the fishing trip, in which he left the men to fend for themselves and provided little guidance, and during the final drinking party. However, after a thought-provoking discussion with a few of my classmates, I realized that the issue was a lot more complex. To apply the “winning the battle but losing…show more content…
So, I realized that we must not only define “war”, but also “Combine”. If you believe that the Combine is just the mental ward, or that Nurse Ratched is just a representation of the Combine, then yes, McMurphy did beat the Combine. However, if you define “Combine” as the government and society as a whole, then no, McMurphy did not beat the Combine. We came to the general consensus that in Cuckoo’s Nest, the Combine is society as a whole and that the mental ward is merely one product of the Combine that follows its rules. Ultimately, the Combine succeeded in suppressing McMurphy’s individuality and reducing him to nothing—he becomes a Vegetable, still technically alive but unable to function normally. He becomes a symbol of what happens when you try to rebel against the Combine. Although he destroys Nurse Ratched’s power over the mental ward, the Combine attempts to use the loss of the war on the mental ward as a warning to other
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