One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Analysis Essay

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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 …show more content…
McMurphy’s actions helps the patients in the ward feel a sense of power from the fear that they used to have in the ward. They obtain a sense of self and express their feelings toward the rules that Nurse Ratched has put in the ward. Before McMurphy’s presence, the meetings were run by Nurse Ratched, and the patients were too afraid to speak up and say anything. However, once McMurphy joined the meetings and shared his rebellious characteristics, the patients started to share their problems and what they wanted toward Nurse Ratched instead of hiding in inferiority. Throughout McMurphy’s actions there were positive affects such as positive progression throughout the ward. “A number of players, Miss Ratched, have shown marked progress since that basketball team was organized . . . ”, the doctor said refusing Nurse Ratched’s objections to basketball (Kesey 205). Chief Bromden also notices the progression by thinking to himself, “I could see some good in the life around me.” ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo 's Nest." 240). Despite being taller than everyone in the ward, Chief Bromden views himself as small and weak. McMurphy helps Bromden become physically and mentally strong enough to lift the control panel in the ward, which is deemed as impossible by the other patients.With the help of McMurphy, Bromden was courageous enough to euthanize McMurphy after the …show more content…
McMurphy disrupted the system of the ward and Nurse Ratched loses control over the patients. Therefore, the patients listen more to McMurphy than they do to Nurse Ratched. McMurphy’s intentions may be good but the consequences are bad. For example, McMurphy was defending George from the aids when a fight broke out and Chief Bromden got involved in it. McMurphy’s actions and intentions causes himself and Bromden to be sent to the Disturbed and receive the electric shock treatments. Furthermore, McMurphy’s intentions of helping Billy Bibbit to have fun has a severe consequence. McMurphy invited a prostitute named Candy to ward, in hopes of helping Billy accomplish something that he was wanted to do for a long time, but was unable to do so because of his overbearing mother. McMurphy’s influence and set up causes Billy’s fate when Nurse Ratched threatens to tell his mother that he slept with a prostitute in the ward. Patients who threaten suicide or show symptoms of it “show extreme hostility, aggression, agitation, and irritability” which Billy showed all of these symptoms when Nurse Ratched threatened to call his mother (“Personality Patterns of suicidal mental hospital patients.”). Billy finds a medical tool and commits suicide in the ward to avoid the disappointment (Kesey 315-317). McMurphy’s intentions are ambiguous and the reader is

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