“One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest” is a film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the novel by Ken Kesey. The Film was released in 1975. It is the story of a convicted man, trying to outsmart the American legal system by playing mentally ill. The film starts at the beginning when the main character, Randle McMurphy, enters the mental institution. It won 6 Golden Globes as well as 5 Oscars and many other nominations. What separates this film from others is its’ use of movie devices and techniques, as well as the emotionally charged story.
In Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey provides a storyline about personal experiences he saw occur in a mental asylum. Ken Kesey worked as a staff member in an insane asylum in Oregon. When he wrote the book, he was providing personal memories about the patients and other workers into a story. The entire novel is about patients that are checked into a mental asylum, and their unwillingness to act against the nurse. Throughout the novel, there is a theme of “manipulation” implied. The theme that manipulation is only a powerful tool if the victim is weak enough to not resist it is revealed through the conflict between Nurse Ratched and the patients in the mental institution.
Author Ken Kesey, in his novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, exemplifies that people can be both mentally and psychically manipulated. He supports his claim by first using examples, then using analysis, and finally using rhetorical questions. Kesey’s purpose is to enlighten the reader in order to exemplify the idea that everything is not always what it seems. He adopts a dark tone for the reader.
Nurse Ratched was very controlling and wanted complete power. This caused many of the patients to rebel and break loose from her control. McMurphy lead the ward in this uprising. From brushing his teeth too early to sneaking prostitutes into the ward, he shows Nurse Ratched that she cannot rule him. This story reminded me of Malala Yousafzai and her retaliation against the Taliban.
It can’t be caused by anyone else, an accident, or a twist of fate. McMurphy’s downfall was brought about by his own actions. If he just sat back and did nothing none of this would have ever happened. The final action taken by McMurphy that really sent Nurse Ratched over the edge was when he ripped open her shirt and tried to choke her after the party. He acted completely by his own free will and let all his built up emotions take over.
By weakening McMurphy’s power in the ward, she creates an environment where can continue to thrive in her power through the systems she has set in place. However, Nurse Ratched’s plan does not succeed and McMurphy is allowed to proceed with his fishing trip. He continues to undermine the nurse’s authority to the point where he physically assults her after she blames Billy’s death on him. His actions give Nurse Ratched an opportunity to give him the ultimate punishment, a
The novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey tells the story of a group of patients in a 1960s psychiatric hospital. The novel is told from the perspective of one of the patients who, up until the very end of the story, is mute. This character is named Bromden and because of the fact that he doesn’t speak, people think he is deaf. Bromden is in the psychiatric hospital because, although its is unclear whether he actually is skitzophrenic, he has been diagnosed as such. Bromden and many other psychiatric patients live in this ward, under the “command” of Nurse Ratched, nicknamed “Big Nurse”. Nurse Ratched is very bossy and strict with the patients in the ward. Many of the patients find her intimidating, until a new patient shows up
“ I didn’t think the nurse had the say-so on this kind of thing”. “She does indeed” ( Kesey, pg 191). So, McMurphy understands that nurse Ratched has a say in when he can leave the ward. After learning this he becomes quiet and nice towards nurse Ratched. But before learning that she had say in when he could get out he used to go against her orders and laws.
Between the film and novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the roles of the characters as well as plotlines were manipulated to supposedly better fit a film adaptation. Charles Cheswick, played by Sydney Lassick, is an Acute patient of the mental ward admitted for his short temperament. Described as a “rabbit” by another patient, Cheswick is one of the first to be charmed by McMurphy’s rhetoric and actions and strongly supports all of McMurphy’s doings and suggestions. Cheswick, with so much belief in McMurphy even tries to emulate him by bringing up his own opinion and demand during a meeting after years of stagnated expression. Unfortunately for the novel version of Cheswick, no support was to be had and he suicides. Cheswick ’s adaptation from novel to film and it’s lack of death loses and gains new meaning to the overall narrative of the story.
All patients must communicate about their personal problems and discuss how to get through them in the trust circle that Nurse Ratched is in charge of. Another example of depersonalization, happens when McMurphy is gambling with cigarettes and gets the other men to participate also. Nurse Ratched finds out about the inappropriate use of their cigarettes, and confiscates all cigarettes from the men. This scenario ultimately causes Cheswick to have a mental breakdown which leads McMurphy to break the glass of the nurses station to get Cheswick and the others their cigarettes
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
Nurse Ratched quickly loses her composure since McMurphy’s behavior is not
The small act of rebelling and Ratched losing signifies that even though McMurphy’s achievement was small, ruining the combine brings hope back to the patients that there is a slight chance they can save themselves from total destruction. Nurse Ratched emitting the fog to continue running a perfect “combine” has caused a continuous destruction of the patient’s life, and with McMurphy on their side, the patients have a slight chance of saving themselves from Nurse Ratched and the combine
All of the patients on the ward presume that Mcmurphy
In the novel, McMurphy attacks the nurse brutally and attempts to kill her, “doctors and supervisors and nurses prying those heavy red fingers out of the white flesh of her throat as if they were her neck bones, jerking him backward” (Kesey 319). Also, the narrator shows mercy towards McMurphy by smothering him in his sleep, “and scissor the kicking legs with mine while I mashed the pillow into the face. I lay there on top of the body for what seemed days. Until the thrashing stopped” (323).