Control vs. Freedom Essays

1326 Words Jun 25th, 2010 6 Pages
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest demonstrated a classic power struggle between acts of extreme authority and untamed free will. Randle McMurphy represented freedom, liveliness, amusement and the power of an individual against a confining institution. However, Nurse Ratched symbolized conformity, repression, death, and enforced a strong display of authority. This film also emphasized the loss of personal freedom with recurring patterns of fences, barriers, locks and shackles. Two completely different people with different aspects on life strived to get their own methods influenced on the rest of the patients. Both leaders were using dissimilar mentalities trying to bring each other down. However, Ratched’s efforts of authoritarian rule …show more content…
Ratched said, “If Mr. McMurphy doesn't want to take his medication orally, I'm sure we can arrange that he can have it some other way. But I don't think that he would like it.” She wanted to strike fear into McMurphy as well as the others to make her dictatorship a reality. She entered the ward in the morning wearing a black cape remindful of a vampire, as if she were coming to suck the life out of the patients. The nurse did manage to drain their spirits by continuously medicating each patient and reminding them of their problems everyday with the routine “meeting.” Nurse Ratched justified her actions by claiming, “This is therapy.” Cheswick stated, “Well Mr. McMurphy wanted to watch baseball and I have never seen a game before, that might be fun and isn’t that therapy too?” McMurphy had the right idea all along. He helped the patients out by becoming their friend and trying to show them how fun baseball is and how exhilarating life can be. Even when his efforts for the majority vote failed, the patients and he sat in front of the non-working television and cheered furiously as if they were watching and enjoying the actual World Series. This turned out to upset Ratched and she fought to make them stop. The loss of personal freedom was distributed heavily in this film. McMurphy first arrived to the mental institution in manacles. This symbol of danger was to let us know that he was horrific enough for a prison to send him to an institution for mental

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