The Power Of Nurse Ratched In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Power is the capacity to act mighty towards something or even someone. Power is frequently in the hands of a dominant character known as the “Big Nurse.” Throughout the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, she has many unfortunate patients locked in her hospital and uses power to overrule them, making it like a totalitarian society. The totalitarian rule in a society is one that regulates every individual’s behavior. Nurse Ratched is the executive employee at the institution who will always find a way to control every situation, not caring about the consequence of her patients or coworkers. The power of manipulation is very demanding and Nurse Ratched uses it for her own benefit. She is easily able to manipulate the patients…show more content…
Ken Kesey states, “But now she’s going to do something with McMurphy today, probably ship him to Disturbed.” (Kesey 133) Nurse Ratched will not tolerate any of McMurphy’s foolish actions against her. She has the power to ship him to disturbed, where he will become like the rest of the chronics. Nurse Ratched has the ability to butcher one’s self-esteem, and force them to act in a manner that would please her. The author states, “She acts like she still holds all the cards up that white sleeve of hers.” (Kesey 169) In other words, Nurse Ratched’s cards has the ability to destroy someone’s life if they do not behave…show more content…
Harding explains, “We need a good strong wolf like the nurse to teach us our place.” (Kesey 64) He explains to McMurphy that the patients are like weak rabbits while the Nurse is a wolf. They are all consumed by her power and believe there is nothing they can do to change it. However, McMurphy attempts to show his individualism by teaching the others to enjoy life and to laugh at the ward. Laughter is used as a symbol representing McMurphy’s sanity throughout the novel. As a result, Nurse Ratched feels threatened by McMurphy’s ability to stay happy in the ward. She decides to discipline him so he does not gain any power. She demonstrates these totalitarian powers when she orders a Lobotomy for McMurphy towards the end of the novel. This procedure will change his life for the worse, and the Nurse is satisfied with that because he will no longer disturb her ward. She is a heartless individual, with the ability to dismantle someone’s life for her own benefit. Given these points, Nurse Ratched’s abuse of power has made a connection to a totalitarian society. Power is maltreated by many individuals around the world. If power gets in the wrong hands, like Nurse Ratched, it can lead to serious corruption and pain in many people’s lives. It will rapidly affect the mind of an individual who is trapped under one’s control. Misusing power will let anyone who handles
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