Women In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, published in 1962, tells the story of men in a psychiatric ward and focuses on two characters called McMurphy and Bromden, and their defiance towards the institution’s system. A critical factor in this novel are the women. The 1960’s played a significant role in changing the norms of social issues, and the perfect idea of women was changing too. Women were no longer just stay at home wives, but had their own voice in society, and many people did not agree with these untraditional views. Kesey’s representation of women in this novel illustrate them in a poor light that makes it obvious that they don’t fit the ideal womanly persona. Nurse Ratched is the main antagonist who is a very cruel and manipulative nurse, in which all the characters seem to agree that she is out to get them. The other main female role is a hooker McMurphy knew before the hospital who plays a role of meeting the boys needs. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s…show more content…
There are two extremes of one “whore-ish” and the other cruel that do not give room for a positive interpretation of women. The one woman who is given a softer role is not given enough time to be a true character to really matter in the representation of Women. Kesey does not represent the women in a good way because these men have basically been ruined by women, and that is the underlying reason that Kesey gives them poor characteristics. Many of the characters seem to have problems with the women in their lives be it Ratched, their wife, mothers, or other women in power, which leads to the point Kesey is trying to make with portraying women this way. The changing culture of women obviously frightens men because they have never been used to women being so powerful or so open with thier sexuallity and all they would like in this blossoming era of the 60’s is to go back to the ideal and perfect
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