Psychological Issues In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Better Essays
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, prompts very important aspect of the human condition. In the movie, the protagonist, Mac McMurphy, is deemed dangerous, so the mental institute tries to suppress him (Kesey). The film highlights various aspects of human conditions like psychology, sociology and philosophy. The mental institute tries to suppress the mentally challenged people rather than to try to communicate with them. The warden employs subtle humiliation tactics to subdue the patients, which was challenged by Mac McMurphy (Kesey). The movie shows that there is a fine line between being normal and acting normal. The protagonist was forced to become a mental patient to make him less dangerous. The movie
…show more content…
Another point to note was that McMurphy seems abnormal among the patients. Especially with his laugh, I kept thinking that he might be mentally ill and not fake it (Kesey). But if you just imagine his behavior outside of the asylum, then it seems normal. This phenomenon is well known in psychology. It says that person once convicted of mental illness have an uphill battle to prove that he is not. The concept of social alienation and various methods of subduing patients like electric shocks and lobotomy were prevalent which further alienated the patients rather than curing them. The movie highlights the strong bond between the patients. The human condition of friendship and bonding is highlighted. During the last quarter of the movie, the protagonist McMurphy had a chance to escape the institution, but he hesitated and stayed to support his friend ‘Billy’. The strong bond that he created with the patients led him to risk his escape plan to stay behind for his friend (Kesey). Even of the patients are mentally disable and some cant express clearly, they still manage to form a strong social bond with the regular people. During the 1970’s President Kennedy passed a health reform act in which psychiatry was reevaluated, and insane asylums were shutting down. The given number 160,000 was lowest at the time as more asylums designed to isolate patients were converting to a therapeutic haling centers…show more content…
The movie was mostly focused on the feud between the warden/nurse Ms. Ratched and McMurphy. McMurphy tried to go against the hard-set plan set by the institution. More he tried to establish dominance and leadership within the group. This threatened the nurse’s ways of subduing patients, and they felt of less importance in their own institution. This led to a bitter rivalry and because of it the nurse tried to subdue, with same techniques as with other patients, McMurphy even after realizing that he was not a mentally unstable person. At the end, the protagonist is surgically operated to make him mentally deranged. The nurse and the department were certain that McMurphy was faking insanity, but they agreed that he was dangerous. The nurse, in spite of discharging him, kept him on the premises to undo the wave of excitement he brought to the asylum
Get Access