Summary Of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Novel Notebook: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Setting/Matter: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” takes place in an institution for the mentally ill in the 1960’s. From the very beginning the patients know that they are confined to the ward, “The first day we arrived over here we were given a demonstration about those[window]screens. They’re specially made. A technician picked up a chair just like that one you’ve got your feet on and beat the screen till the chair was no more than kindling wood. Didn’t hardly dent the screen” (Kesey 108). The windows form an impression that the patients are trapped, with no way to escape. Each day runs on a strict time schedule with each patient wearing the exact same uniform. The whole routine and issued clothing …show more content…

McMurphy is described as having “a bright devilish grin, and he’s hard in a different kind of way from Papa, kind of the way a baseball is hard under the scuffed leather. A seam runs across his nose and one cheekbone where somebody laid him a good one in a fight, and the stitches are still in the seam” (11). McMurphy, from the way he looks and tough impression he gives off, doesn’t seem to be a likely candidate for someone who will be the leader of the weaker side. The reader, along with the characters, don’t immediately know whether or not he will turn out to be the hero or the bully, because of his tough exterior. Especially after he introduces himself immediately as a “gambling fool” (11). He lets everyone know exactly what is habits are and why he’s there, explaining his situation as “If it gets me out of those damned pea fields I’ll be whatever their little heart desires, be it psychopath or mad dog or werewolf” (13). He wants everyone to always know from day one that he made the choice to come to the mental institution. He’s straightforward about it because he wants it to be apparent that he is higher above his fellow patients. Altogether the way McMurphy presents himself makes him an unlikely candidate for the one who stands up for everyone. The nurse is a drastic opposite because “her skin is

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