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"One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"

1651 words - 7 pages

Part IThe story starts with the admission of a new patient, Randle P. McMurphy, to a mental hospital in Oregon. He has feigned insanity and has had himself admitted into the mental hospital in order to escape from his prison punishment of weeding peas. While at the mental hospital, he sees an opportunity to make money from his fellow patients and quickly tries to befriend them.Nurse Ratched, the head nurse in charge of the ward, carefully watches McMurphy and labels him as a troublemaker. In the first group meeting after his arrival at the hospital, McMurphy notices how verbally abusive the patients are towards one another. Later, when he asks them why they are so destructive, McMurphy is ...view middle of the document...

When the Nurse still refuses to change their viewing time, all the patients, led by McMurphy sit in front of the television and stare at the blank screen, instead of performing their required duties. This is McMurphy's first major victory over Nurse Ratched. As a result of his success, he becomes the leader of the patients.It is obvious that McMurphy has already begun to get under Nurse Ratched's skin. McMurphy is also a symbol of freedom and sanity for these patients of whom are not all even insane. Chief Bromden feigns his muteness, and Harding has checked himself into the ward.Part IIPart II deals with McMurphy's discovery of one of the cardinal rules of the hospital and his final acceptance as the savior of the patients. The section begins with the patients still sitting in front of the television, staring at the blank screen, an act that they continue to do for the rest of the week. As a result of McMurphy's influence over the patients, the staff has a meeting about him and argue about what makes him tick. Most of the staff feels that McMurphy is an extraordinary man that should be sent to the Disturbed ward, but Nurse Ratched disagrees. She believes he is just an ordinary patient who will come around, just like the others have.One day while swimming, McMurphy finds out from the lifeguard that a patient who has been involuntarily placed in the hospital, like he has been, cannot leave unless the Nurse thinks he is fit to go. This knowledge changes McMurphy's whole outlook. If he is ever to leave, he must change his ways. He tries not to cause any more trouble and becomes a model patient.Harding then tells McMurphy that he and most of the other inmates have voluntarily committed themselves. McMurphy cannot believe his ears; but then he realizes that they have no self- confidence to live in the outside world. He finally acknowledges that he is their only hope and commits to becoming their savior.To retaliate against McMurphy's increasing influence, Nurse Ratched takes away their game room, saying it is for their own good. McMurphy refuses to let her get away with this without a protest. He walks up to the nursing station and smashes the glass that separates her from the inmates. He then very politely apologizes, saying that he did not see the glass. Nurse Ratched knows better.Part II is to show the process that McMurphy goes through in deciding to commit himself to the survival and well being of his fellow patients. At first, he is just having fun with Nurse Ratched, trying to irritate her with one little thing after another, battling her however he can. His actions unite the inmates, and they begin coming to McMurphy for assurance. He unconsciously takes on the role of guide and leader for the whole group, but he has not openly accepted the role. The Chief, however, sees McMurphy's influence; he judges him to be a big powerful man, whom the Combine has not been able to destroy.The last straw for McMurphy is when the Nurse decides to take away...

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