Women In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Society in the ‘60s was based around the men, and the women could not do much without their husbands, they had very little rights, and were losing more as men came back from war. The book, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest is about a mental ward that just received a new patient, Randle McMurphy, who was previously at a work farm for many crimes committed. McMurphy thought it would be more comfortable for him in a mental hospital. He was quite wrong, the woman in charge of his unit, Nurse Ratched, was very hard on her patents using abuse, medication, and electroshock therapy to keep her patients in fear of her and the outside world. These two are accustomed of being the top dogs and do not get along well, they battle for power throughout the book. In the book the women are the ones…show more content…
Kesey shows us this in the scene with Billy and his mother. “‘Mother, I’m th-th-thirty one years old!’ She laughed and twiddled his ear with a weed. ‘Sweetheart, do I look like the mother of a middle-aged man?’” (Kesey 295). Billy’s relationship with his mother is opposite of what a normal relationship would be like at his age. Billy is 30, but treats him as if he is 5. Billy’s mother is similar to other female characters in this book because she treats men as if they are inferior and feels as if she has control over his whole life. This is connected to gender stereotypes because it is the opposite to what was expected in society during that time. Another example of this is when Billy was caught sleeping with Cherry and the big Nurse uses Billy’s fear of his mom against him to make him scared. “‘What worries me, Billy’ she said--I could hear the change in her voice--’is how your poor mother is going to take this’ (Kesey 314). This quote shows that Billy is afraid of his mom, this is not a normal thing in society and shows that the women have the power. This is proof that the women are given the power One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s
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