One Flew Over Her Nest Analysis

Superior Essays
One Flew Over Her Nest It is a man’s world and the woman 's place is in the house. This popular misconception has plagued American society since the time of the founding fathers. It was believed that the man was expected to be the master, the leader, or the commander in chief, while the woman is supposed to be passive and subservient. Women did not have the right to dictate how they used their money, how they dressed in public, and how they behaved in the presence of men. For a long time, American society suppressed women with these conformations. It was not until the late-1970s that women were allowed to freely express themselves. However, the normal convention of omniscient male dominance is absent in author Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the …show more content…
At the asylum Nurse Ratched created the oppressive environment; she was the judge, the jury, and executioner. She had total control over the men’s lives. In many ways she did not allow the men to attain their basic necessities, which eventually led to the diminishing of their masculinity. The men were unable to assert their virility; when Dale Harding assigns animals to the people around him, he was compelled to call Nurse Ratched a wolf and the men rabbits (Leach). One of the ways Nurse Ratched generated her power was by using her large body proportions and her feminine beauty. Nurse Ratched embodied the American machismo’s worst fear, a strong woman who is unattractive to them (Darbyshire 199). She would use her beauty to manipulate the men into following her every command. Nurse Ratched would also use her alluring body to beguile the men. For example, her ample breasts gave a misleading symbolic representation of both nurturance and sexuality, which she fails to deliver on both counts to the men (Darbyshire 199). Nurses are supposed to kind and affectionate, but Nurse Ratched refuses to nurture the men in the ward (Darbyshire 199). To expand the extent of her power, Nurse Ratched takes away the traditions and customs that allow a man to become a man (Darbyshire 201). For example, she prevents the men at the ward from smoking, drinking, sexual exploits and watching …show more content…
Unfortunately, for the men, throughout the novel they were vitiated by the important woman in their lives, their mothers or wives. A prime example of this is the marriage of the Harding. Dale Harding is married to young and beautiful wife. During the 1950s and 60s, wives were supposed to be subservient, kind, and modest. Yet, Harding 's young wife behavior is on the other side of the spectrum, she is a castrating wife (Alvarado 355). For example, when Mrs. Harding is introduced in the novel with a photograph, she is seen openly filtering with the photographer in the presence of her husband (Alvarado 355). Mrs. Harding position and attitude in the photograph compared to her husband’s appearance, gives the impression that the she dominates the relationship (Alvarado 355). Mrs. Harding is openly defiant her sexuality, which causes her husband to feel inadequate. For example, when she visits her husband she spends the whole visit exploring the many ways she can allude to the fact that he is impaired sexually (Alvarado 355). Harding also feels emasculated by his wife body, “ample bosom at times gives him a feeling of inferiority” (Kesey as quoted in Leach). As a result of Mrs. Harding domineering nature, her husband is unable to achieve progress with his mental disability, which leads to his subordination to his wife. Like Mrs. Harding many of the wives in the novel emasculate

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Societies Judgement on Love and Marriages In today’s society there is a lot battling about whether a wife placing her hands on her husband is ok or not. Back in the day it was rare to hear about a wife abusing her husband due to the fact that everyone was to busy talking about the male companion abusing the female companion on the regular. Men abusing there wife 's became a way of life for them. Since everyone was used to hearing about the husband abusing the wife on the regular they began to think that it was ok and that the man was always right for hitting her or she deserved it for making him angry enough to want to hit her. Years later entering Present day everyone has heard of the stories of the Wife finally fighting back.…

    • 1345 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    That Long Silence Analysis

    • 1475 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Deshpande points out the women in most cases have no freedom in choosing their own partners. Her The Dark Holds No Terrors told mainly in the first person narrative. The protagonist Sarita who attempts to free herself deals with the traumatic experience. She becomes the victim of exploitation by her own husband only because he is not ready to tolerate her as a popular and doctor wife’s superiority but Saru tolerates her husband’s torture, trouble and turmoil with herself with a sense of confidence but feels bad and disgusting inside. Manu, being a lecturer at the third grade college, creates great discomfort for her.…

    • 1475 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    After reading multitudinous feminist stories, it is quite obvious that the women during this time period were being treated as inferior by their husbands. The husbands portrayed in these stories are demeaning their wives in ways such as treating them as children, controlling them, and much more. After diving deeper we realize that all of these stories are more alike than we think. If we look deeper than the surface, we can see that the conditions these women encountered allegedly pushed them all to their breaking point, or awakening, which is common ground among all of these dramaticized stories. Throughout all of these passages, we see the recurring image of husbands treating their wives like children.…

    • 1354 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Over the years, many women have been subjected to arranged marriages in order for their families to benefit. Oftentimes, the marriages are without love and passion, leaving the women to be held to unreasonable standards. In “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, Edna is married to a very controlling man, often regarding Edna as a piece of his property. He tends to chide her for failing to perform the duties he has set out for her. However, whilst on vacation with her husband, Edna comes across a young man, named Robert, whom she is truly happy with.…

    • 1379 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The extent of the criticism even reaches the narrator’s husband, a doctor, who is held responsible for his wife’s eventual descent into a state of madness caused by his own prescription of the resting cure. Each time that the narrator defies her husband’s wishes (which he views as knowing what is best for his wife), such actions are chastised as being irresponsible for the narrator’s expected return to complete mental health. The use of a patriarchal marriage to highlight sexism is also employed by the playwright of A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen. Ibsen portrays the Helmer’s relationship as patriarchal, in which Nora can only hope to receive what she desires by acting child-like and innocent. Both women’s marriages lead to an eventual turning point.…

    • 1629 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Esquivel presents Pedro as “a monster of selfishness and suspicion” that everyone experiences at some point in their lives (212). When two people are fighting for the love of one person, one often becomes jealous and selfish. Love makes people do crazy things. Tita is turned off by his jealousy, but she knows that he is the one for her. As the book comes to an end, both Tita and Pedro realize that they have “spent way too many years worrying about what people will say” (237).…

    • 1900 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    People could possibly make the assumption that when women marry their husbands, they could often pray/hope for freedom. Women were isolated and under strict rules of their husband. Women were under so many disadvantages in the male dominated society such as, being rejected higher education, having a slim chance of getting custody of children during a divorce, had no right to vote, had limited control of property rights after being married, and had no ability of being able to sue anyone. A male dominated society gives the wrong mentality towards the women population. Chopin’s “Story of An Hour” and Glaspell’s “Trifles” show excellent examples of how the male dominated society negatively affected the women’s…

    • 982 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Although it was a box office hit, the film ignited feminist protest because it communicated a very troubling message that dangerous, unhealthy relationships are acceptable. Women of all ages were exposed to the glorification of a dysfunctional, dominating relationship. This mindset wreaks havoc on the healthy development of relationships because mainstream media like advertisements and film entertainment capitalize on the idea that it is sexy for a woman to be forced into…

    • 1172 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Lady Macbeth presents herself as a dominating woman in her family and her desire for the throne stimulates her to be commanding over her husband. By controlling and manipulating Macbeth to perform her plan, Lady Macbeth exhibits superiority and dominance over her husband. Lady Macbeth attacks Macbeth’s change of heart about killing Duncan and calls Macbeth, “a coward in thine own esteem,/ Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would,’/ Like the poor cat i’ the adage?” (1.7.43-45). Lady Macbeth attacks Macbeth’s manhood by calling him a coward, and makes him feel emasculated. She wants to control Macbeth and make him do according to her plans.…

    • 1441 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “If I Were a Man,” a woman, Mollie Mathewson, imagines what it would be like if she were a man for a day and subsequently ends up in her husband’s body. Gilman’s “The Yellow Wall-Paper” follows the journal of a woman who is going through a psychological breakdown. These seem like different plots, however, they share a common theme of the repression of women by men. In Gilman’s “If I Were a Man,” Mollie Mathewson is stereotyped as a “true woman” (484). Mollie is unhappy as a domestic housewife, unable to do as she pleases, and wants to live the life of a man.…

    • 1225 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays