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Control Leads To Destruction In Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

869 words - 3 pages

Control Leads to Destruction in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

        One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey, is about patients

and doctors in a mental institution.  The author talks a lot about what

goes on in this institute.  The main points in this book deal with control,

be it the character of McMurphy who is unable to handle control, or Nurse

Ratched the head nurse on the ward whose job requires her to be in control.

The world of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is dark; it is a place where

control leads to destruction, but the novel shows through the character of

The Chief that there is still hope if the people who are being controlled

have the power to resist.

      Nurse Ratched is a mean woman whose job revolves around control.

She depends on people who are less fortunate than her to make a living.

Her need to control others is an unfortunate trait that she has because it

makes people unable to think for themselves and it also leads to

destruction.  One example of this is when Nurse Ratched caught one of the

patients (Billy Bibbit) with a woman.  The nurse feeling the need to

control Billy threatened to tell his mother.  Billy begged Nurse Ratched

not to tell her but when his requests were refused Billy slashed his neck

with a broken bottle and killed himself.  Billy's life was destroyed

because of Nurse Ratched's need to control others.

      Another place that we see the dark world is when we examine the

relationship between Nurse Ratched and R.P. McMurphy. McMurphy is a happy

and rebellious man.  He is not used to being controlled, so when he gets

into the institution he refuses to be controlled by Nurse Ratched, "I can

get the best of that woman- before the week is up-without her getting the

best of me".  Nurse Ratched constantly feels the need to control McMurphy.

Ever since the moment that McMurphy walks into the institute Nurse Ratched

tells him what to do, when to sit in the circle, when to eat, when to take

his medicine, and so on.  At first McMurphy tries not to listen to Nurse

Ratched because he doesn't want anyone to feel stronger than him, "A man go

around lettin' a woman whup him down till he can't laugh no more and he

loses the biggest edge he's got on his side.  First thing you know he'll

begin to...

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