Throughout the beginning of the novel it is evident that some characters over use their powers, one of these characters being Nurse Ratched. Nurse Ratched uses her position in the ward to take advantage of the patients and make sure that they adhere to everyone of her daunting commands. Nurse Ratched “tends to get real put out if something keeps her outfit from running like a smooth, accurate, precision-made machine” (Kesey 28) because she has been on the ward for so long that when something doesn 't go according to her plan, she starts to get mad and will often try to use her power to come down on the patient 's. Nurse Ratched is in control of the whole ward and when someone does something that isn 't in her manuscript she gets irritated. The ward will be run her way and only her way, “ under her rule the ward inside is almost completely adjusted to surroundings” (Kesey 28). She corrupts the hospital 's public relations personnel, patients, orderlies, and student nurses with her fallacious rapture for order. Not only does she choose the personnel, but she uses her power to make the black boys do work for her.
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.
They are seen to remind the male patients of their masculinity. They did not receive the same type of respect as nurse Ratched. Also, the girls did not simply not care what was going on around them. Each time Mcmurphy escaped the girls went along, and never second guessed. Nurse Ratched,showed her superiority over other girls when she found Candy at the hospital.
The conflict between the two main character's Nurse Ratched and McMurphy serves as a bridge for the overarching theme of sexuality. Or to be more specific the battle of sexuality. In the book the two main characters represent both sides of the spectrum when it comes to sexuality concerning genders. Nurse Ratched represents feminism and McMurphy represents masculinity. With the two conflicting views of how the character’s believe the institution for the mentally ill should be run you can see more of the juxtaposition between the two. Nurse Ratched who ruled with an iron handed fist to keep her distance away from the patients of the ward and establish her role of a women in power in the institution. This from the beginning of the book sets a
This reveals that after constant manipulation the victims brain is traumatized and is left with an ability to find change. Lastly, most men in the ward find Nurse Ratched to be scary and something to be reckoned with. The fear of Nurse Ratched causes the men to see most women as scary monsters and something to be hated. For example Harding is revealed to have many problems with his wife. “Touch upon the—subject, Mr. McMurry, the subject of Mr. Harding’s problem with his wife” (Kesey, 436).
Kesey has used characterisation to get the idea that in this novel there are aspects of venerability and strength. In Nurse Ratched’s case, Kesey has made it so that she is shown with strength and power over the whole ward, including the black men in white, other nurses, and mainly the patients. An example of Nurse Ratched’s power over the patients is when she says to Billy Bibbit, “What worries me, Billy, ' she said- I could hear the change in her voice- 'is how your mother is going to take this.” This shows how one sentence was able to debilitate Billy into begging Nurse for forgiveness and restraint of telling his mother.
This battle is hashed out between the two characters: Nurse Ratched and Randle McMurphy. In McMurphy’s world of individuality, everything is laid back, cheerful and lighthearted, while the Nurse’s world of conformity is uptight, heartless and mechanical. Nurse’s conformist attitude is reflected through her reaction to McMurphy’s singing, and walking around in a towel. Once she processes McMurphy’s disregard for ward policy, “her nostrils flare open...when she rumbles past she’s already big as a truck, trailing that wicker bag behind her exaust like a semi behind a Jimmy Diesel” (87).
These elements keep the nurse in power, as many of the patients fear being the target of one of these meetings and worry that they will again be betrayed by others. By introducing order through these activities, Nurse Ratched undermines the safety of the patients that should be under her care and keeps them silent. Nurse Ratched's oppressive order is not only seen in a literal sense, but also through the attitudes of the patients under her care. Chief Bromden describes the nurse as being “able to set the wall clock at whatever speed she wants just by turning one of those dials“ (Kesey 70). Nurse Ratched’s control over the patients’ lives extends to the point where
Kesey has created Nurse Ratched as a representation of how the ward works. Nurse Ratched works the ward like a combine, when something goes in; broken pieces become the end result. When Nurse Ratched loses her first battle with McMurphy, she ends up “hollering and squealing” about the “discipline and order” she has instilled throughout her years working in the ward (128). Here, Kesey presents how this small act of rebellion affects Ratched system she has perfected over the years. Even though she is screaming about discipline and order, the patients continue to ignore her pleas and sit in front of the television watching nothing.
“Paranoia is the belief that people are conspiring against you and deliberately trying to harm you” (Mirowsky, Ross 228). It is only natural for a man who had everything taken away from him to be wary of his surroundings, and find it difficult to trust anyone or anything. However, Chief’s association of the Nurse's station with a control panel that keeps the entire ward running, reveals his deepest layer of paranoia. Chief has always felt as though he was being controlled, and his paranoia regarding those running the ward shows readers that he does not trust them in any way.
As soon as he sees Billy laying there dead, he is speechless. He looks at Nurse Ratched and she tells McMurphy that he is the one at blame. McMurphy freaks out on Ratched and begins to grab her neck with both of his hands and strangle her. Randle McMurphy rips open Nurse Ratched’s uniform, revealing her breasts, which shows her femininity (The Litcharts Guide To One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest).
The men in the novel always feel superior to the women and so, they obtain the more powerful roles while the women are assumed to abide by and admire them. They are perceived as strong and brave. The women are weak and inept. For example, Peter was always taken as the leader, the one who is trusted to lead the others. Edmund embodied the ultimate male trait – aggressiveness – which he uses to menace his siblings.
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
Nurse Ratched is the main antagonist who is a very cruel and manipulative nurse, in which all the characters seem to agree that she is out to get them. The other main female role is a hooker McMurphy knew before the hospital who plays a role of meeting the boys needs. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s
However, to Nurse Ratched, this window illustrates her dominance over the ward. “The Big Nurse watches all [that the patients do] through her window” (42). Kesey’s glass division between the sane and the insane demonstrates Nurse Ratched’s overall want of authority. Correspondingly, the Big Nurse is a wolf amongst the hospital full of rabbits. As Harding explains to McMurphy that the patients are essentially small rabbits in the forest that is the mental institution, he also notes that Nurse Ratched is the “strong wolf” that teaches the rabbits their place, much like the hierarchy of nature (61).