Nurse Ratched Essay

2544 Words Feb 14th, 2011 11 Pages
History will show that women who procured stature and power in society have always struggled to keep their position, and those who tried to topple these women from their lofty perch were, more than likely, always men. It is the same in Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in which the character, Nurse Ratched, struggles to keep her self-constructed domain together after an opposing enemy, named McMurphy, fights to pull power from her by causing a revolt. In the end, Nurse Ratched wins the battle between her and McMurphy by having him lobotomized, but does she really win the age-old battle of male versus female by suppressing him? Another question is: Why do readers see Nurse Ratched as an evil and conniving woman for …show more content…
Since Nurse Ratched’s supervisor is her best friend and a female, there are no males to dominate their thinking.
When Nurse Ratched constructed her team, she was particular on whom she wanted around her. In other words, she wanted people who were going to be loyal to her if she ever needed support. In constructing her team, she made sure that the people she hired passed her stringent requirements:
Her three daytime black boys she acquires after more years of testing and rejecting thousands. They come at her in a long black row of sulky, big-nosed masks, hating her and her chalk doll whiteness from the first look they get. She appraises them and their hate for a month or so, then lets them go because they don’t hate enough. When she finally gets the three she wants—gets them one at a time over a number of years, weaving them into her plan and her network—she’s damn positive they hate enough to be capable (28). If read from a conventional male perspective, a reader will be able to point out the negative connotations on the way Nurse Ratched is constructing her team. However, when read from a female perspective, a reader will question whether she is being shrewd with whom she wants around her or deviant in picking such a cruel team. The old saying goes that the mark of any good leader is the people you have around you. In fact, even though the men on the ward feel that she and the people who surround

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