"Nothing builds authority up like silence, splendor of the strong and shelter of the weak" (Charles de Gaulle). This idea is reflected in Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, where it is shown how authority becomes more powerful by abusing the silence of the people. This silence is literally and figuratively represented through Chief Bromden, a longtime patient of a psychiatric ward during the 1960s in the United States. Bromden, along with all the other patients in the ward, religiously abide by the rules and regulations enforced by the ward administration, particularly Nurse Ratched, a strict and abusive manipulator who does anything in order to maintain her power. This power dynamic quickly evolves
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.
Nurse Ratched’s desire for control, in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, allows her to manipulate the entire hospital ward into believing her work is for the betterment of the patients. Significantly, Nurse Ratched appears doll-like: hair in a tight bun, a neatly pressed uniform, and “too-red” lipstick (48). Traditionally, dolls, like other toys, are made to occupy the unruly minds of young children. By comparing Nurse Ratched to a child’s toy, Kesey implies she is a mere distraction to the patients from their mental impairments. While the Big Nurse may look flawless, her porcelain exterior is a mask to her true personality. Her appearance indicates a polished, helpful treatment for incoming patients, but this twisted perfection
The Beat Generation of the 1950’s and early 1960’s encouraged a new lifestyle for young Americans striving for individualism and freedom, which included rock and roll music, long hair, relaxed style attire, vegetarianism, and experimenting with drugs (“Beat Movement”). Many young Americans of this era wanted to experiment with new social and cultural concepts, rebelling against “normal” American life. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, written by Ken Kesey, portrays the gruesomeness of conformity through the lives of patients in one of the asylum’s wards. The novel shows how the patients are confined to strict rules and limited freedom because of Nurse Ratched’s power. The Beat Generation wanted change because of this conformity, by rebelling against the rules and structure of society. In the text, Kesey implies that conformity is damaging because he believed that conformity and mental institutions negatively impact the patients by destroying their self-esteem, while many in the ‘50s and early ‘60s believed mental institutions helped someone become a normal member of society.
In the film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, there are four characteristics of a controlled environment. These include; status hierarchy, depersonalization, adjustment, and institution. Viewers can see these ideas through different scenes and situations in the movie. The overall movie stems from institutionalization, because it is set in a psychiatric hospital, which keeps the patients there confined to a strict environment and schedule. Doctors and nurses look at small traits or changes as something significant, whereas in the real world that small trait would appear as a norm and be overlooked.
Published in 1962, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest tells the story of Patrick McMurphy, a newly-admitted patient at a psychiatric hospital where individuals with various mental conditions are treated. Run primarily by Nurse Ratched, a demeaning autocrat who exhibits complete control over others, the patients are subjected to various forms of treatments and therapy with the intent of rehabilitation (Kesey 5). Most forms of treatment depicted in Kesey’s novel, such as group therapy, are an accurate representation of what typical psychiatric patients may encounter while under care at a mental facility. Yet others, particularly electroshock therapy and lobotomies, were quite controversial at the time of the novel’s publication. Such treatments were questioned for their effectiveness at improving patients’ condition – and while these procedures were still occasionally performed at the time, they often did not benefit the treated individual. Often painful and traumatic, these treatments physically degraded the patient’s mental status; and in extreme
Throughout Ken Kesey’s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the balance of power is challenged in the psychiatric ward. Out of the several leaders that appear in the novel, Nurse Ratched and McMurphy are the most prominent. During Nurse Ratched and McMurphy struggle for power, they share many of the same qualities. It is argued that: “McMurphy and Ratched are alike in intelligence, military service, distinctive (if opposite) clothing, and conventionally masculine qualities” (Evans). These small similarities; however, do not distract the characters from fighting for their individual beliefs. Both McMurphy and Nurse Ratched approached their leadership in different ways. McMurphy uses transformational leadership, which is a leader that “must perform some combination of the transactional functions (plan, direct, organize, control) in order to build respect and trust… [and the] leader gets people to work towards some higher purpose or goal” (O’Connor). In other words, it is a leader who achieves a “higher goal”, while “build[ing] respect and trust” from the people. On the other hand, Nurse Ratched uses authoritarian leadership, which is when “Policies [are] determined by the leader. [The] leader determines what each member should do and with whom he should work… Some find it difficult to diffuse authority… [which] causes some to feel threatened and insecure” (Sferra). More simply, an authoritative leader is one that has supreme power over the people. McMurphy’s transformational
In the drama film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest, Patrick McMurphy was moved from a prison farm to a mental institution to get evaluated for his erratic behavior. Upon being transported to the institution, all his assumptions about his new home were completely wrong. The head nurse, Nurse Ratched, has the whole hospital under her control with little to no freedom for the patients. All the inmates at the institution go through rigorous training to become obedient to Nurse Ratched and her strict schedule and rules. The institution was a very controlled environment with the patients having no control over their own life’s while there. There are four characteristics of a controlled environment and they include the following: status hierarchy,
Society, It is always changing, just like the people in it. No one wants to look out of place in the world so they do what they can to fit in. Everyone does it differently it might be acting a certain way, or changing style, but with fitting in comes rejection. Just like trying to fit in, dealing with rejection is done differently, most people try to fix the problem before they start to get labeled. In the book “One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest” Ken Kesey shows that the “insanity” of the patients is really just normal insecurities and their label as insane by society is immoral. This appears in the book concerning Billy Bibbits problem with his mom, Harding's problems with his wife, and that the patients are in the ward
The book, One who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey, is an eccentric story on the cruel treatment of patients within psychiatric wards in the 1960s. It is told from the narration of an indigenous man, named Chief Bromden, a character who is deeply conflicted and wounded inside, as he narrates the story of another patient McMurphy. McMurphy is not like Chief, nor any of the other patients for that matter, for he is a man who refuses to follow the wards rules and does whatever it takes in the book to strip the head nurse, Miss Ratched, of her power, in a fight for the patients, sovereignty within the ward. His rebellious attitude unfolds and the consequences begin unveiling
The movie “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” gives an inside look into the life of a patient living in a mental institution; helping to give a new definition of mental illnesses. From a medical standpoint, determinants of mental illness are considered to be internal; physically and in the mind, while they are seen as external; in the environment or the person’s social situation, from a sociological perspective (Stockton, 2014). Additionally, the movie also explores the idea of power relations that exist between an authorized person (Nurse Ratched) and a patient and further looks into the punishment a deviant actor receives (ie. McMurphy contesting Nurse Ratched).
In Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’ the main character and narrator, Chief Bromden, is noticeably stuck inside his own head as he acts deaf and dumb to escape the pressures of being a part of something. As the novel moves on, for someone who’s perception of living is to stay transparent and withdrawn totally inside himself the Chief takes a transformation from his delusional mind and gains strength physically and mentally, creating a journey towards freedom and finally, breaking free from the ward and from himself. Kesey uses the transformation to unravel a number of ideas about the importance of freedom and explores how the pressures of society can lead individuals to conform within themselves. The theories Chief believes
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
First of all, it is unjust for people who are deemed unalike from others in society to be forced into the preset way of conduct because human tend to have dissimilar nature. In the novel, Kesey employs many characters, each with unique features. For example, Dale Harding, one of the protagonists in the story, was described as, “... a flat, nervous man ...”(Kesey 20) and in one of the group discussion lead by Nurse Ratched, he was reported of saying
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