Essay on One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest

1374 Words May 26th, 2016 6 Pages
Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest follows a psychiatric hospital and the arrival of a new, boisterous patient named Randle Patrick McMurphy. The story is told from the point of view of Chief Bromden, a very tall, schizophrenic man who has been at the ward for ten years. Bromden and the rest of the patients, along with the staff at the ward, feel emasculated by the head nurse, Nurse Ratched. Nurse Ratched’s authority is challenged upon McMurphy’s arrival, and he quickly becomes an influential figure to the other patients. McMurphy spends his first few days at the ward being very insubordinate, but later shifts to behaving and staying quiet. He then starts to show signs of caring for the other patients, causing suspicion of what his true intentions in the ward are. Because McMurphy motivates bad behavior in the ward, encourages the other patients to have a good time, helps other patients mature, and indirectly causes Billy Bibbit to commit suicide, Kesey portrays McMurphy as a morally ambiguous character who is not purely evil or purely good.
McMurphy’s outlandish and eccentric behavior causes both good and bad consequences on himself and the other patients at the ward. The patients are not accustomed to being around such behavior, therefore do not know how to react to it. McMurphy’s disobedient actions quickly foil the actions of the patients around him, causing the readers to feel perplexed about their differences. At first, the fearful patients in…

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