Nurse Ratched Leadership Analysis

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Nurse Ratched epitomizes an authoritarian leader with her superiority, and inability to collaborate with the other members of the ward. In attempt to assert her control over McMurphy, Nurse Ratched reminds him that, “‘You're committed, you realize. You are... under the jurisdiction of me... the staff." She's holding up a fist, all those red-orange fingernails burning into her palm. "Under jurisdiction and control—" (125). When threatened by McMurphy, she forces him to “realize” that he is “committed”, and under her “control”. As an authoritarian leader, she demands obedience from those that are beneath her. Nurse Ratched broadcasts that patients are “under the jurisdiction and control” of her. By asserting herself before the staff, she shows …show more content…
In addition, her fury with “those red-orange fingernails burning into her palm” represents how seriously she takes her position as a supreme leader. Nurse Ratched asserts a violent force, when her palm is associated with a “red” and “burning” complexion. Characteristically, Nurse Ratched is strict with her preferences: “The Big Nurse tends to get real put out if something keeps her outfit from running like a smooth, accurate, precision-made machine” (25). By leading like a “machine”, it eliminates all human qualities, such as love and care for her …show more content…
In a conversation between Harding and McMurphy, Harding describes the danger in protesting Nurse Ratched’s rules, “You tell her [to go to hell] and you’re listed as Potential Assaultive and shipped upstairs to the Disturbed ward” (61). The men in the ward see the consequences in challenging Nurse Ratched far too high, as they do not want to become victims of her lethal power. As a result, Acutes become complacent with their accommodations because they are better than the alternative of being a Vegetable. This element of fear attached to any disagreement with Nurse Ratched creates a sense of caution around the ward. The men know that if they do any harm in the slightest, Nurse Ratched has the authority to do whatever she wants with them. | Nurse Ratched’s supreme power has promoted the idea that, “We comical little creatures can’t even achieve masculinity in the rabbit world, that’s how weak and inadequate we are” (60). This mindset shared among the patients strips men's ability to see their self-worth, as they are “weak and inadequate”. This perspective is dangerous because it limits the opportunity for change in the ward, as the men can’t take themselves seriously as “comical little creatures”. The impact of viewing themselves as so insignificant taints their ability to see value and injustice in their lives. Harding describes this experience as a rabbit in

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