The Relationship Between Men And Women In 'Nurse Ratched'

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1. In the novel, women are portrayed as mean and feared beings. They are somewhat compared to as evil monsters. An example of this in the passage is on pages 4 and 5. It says, “They sense she’s glaring down at them now, but its too late. They should’ve known better...” This shows the fear the men have after being caught by Nurse Ratched. They are scared by her and fear her actions. Another example of this is on pages 4 and 5, is “She’s going to tear the black bastards limb from limb, she’s so furious. She’s swelling up, swells till her back’s splitting out the white uniform and she’s let her arms section out long enough to wrap around the three of them five, six times. She looks around her with a swivel of her huge head.” This shows the fear…show more content…
3. The relationship between men and women in this novel is portrayed as the women being more dominant. For example, on page 183, Harding’s wife says to him, “Dale, when are you going to learn to laugh instead of making that mousy little squeak?” It is not common that a woman would speak to a man like that so this shows that women were more dominant and ruled most relationships. This is also shown by Nurse Ratched bossing around the black boys on page 4 and 5 telling them to get back to work by saying, “...and we have quite a number of appointments this morning, so perhaps, if your standing here in a group talking isn’t too urgent...” This shows the authority she has over the male employees. 4. In this novel, power is held more by women. Kesey implies that women of this time would do evil things to maintain their role of power. For example, Billy Bibbit's mother tells him he can go to college and have a girlfriend when he is older and treats him like a child. We see how this affects Billy on page 137, when Nurse says “I can’t wipe the razor-blade scars off your wrists or the cigarette burns off the back of your hands. I can’t give you a new mother”. This shows the pain his mother put him through and the power she held over him by manipulating him and taking advantage of his condition. 5. In the novel, we see characters with both feminine and masculine qualities. Harding is described as having feminine qualities. On page 183, Hardings hands are talked about. “While Harding’s telling the story he gets enthusiastic and forgets about his hands, and they weave through the air in front of him into a picture clear enough to see, dancing the story to the tune of his voice like two beautiful ballet women in white.” This shows effeminate qualities of Harding. This is also shown in group sessions where he constantly worries about his wife’s approval. Nurse Ratched has masculine qualities 6.

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