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One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest By Ken Kesey

4124 words - 16 pages

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

The author of the novel stages this story in a mental institution located in the Northwest Pacific. The manuscript was written in the early on 1960s when the issues involving social norms were being put on the spotlight. In “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Ken Kesey examines how the appearance of a controversial mental patient affects everybody around him in the asylum. This character that Ken Kesey creates, Mr. McMurphy, introduces many themes like: man vs. man, man vs. machine, treatment of the clinically insane, and insane vs. sane. The narrator of this novel is Chief Bromden ‘Chief Broom,' who is an inmate, thought to be both deaf and dumb. His pretense is mainly aimed at keeping off attention. He is the longest serving patient in the hospital since the Second World War. Through this narrator, the author focuses on Randle Patrick McMurphy who is also an inmate. The latter is convicted of battery and gambling. He fakes insanity in order to serve his sentence in a mental organization as a replacement for of a prison. He does this to escape the work at the prison and he is convinced that, in the mental institution, he would have comfort. Consequently, he is confined in an Oregon Psychiatric Hospital. (Kesey, p. 9)
Accordingly, McMurphy has been described to be antagonizing Nurse Ratched and her practices, which leads to a struggle of power between the inmate and the nurse. It has been vividly described that, the connection between the disability and gender in the novel is represented by the idea that men of the ward are unable to assert their respective masculinity and that this is ultimately the key cause of the fact that they are institutionalized,
Looking further into the individual’s characterization of some of the patients, it confirms the existence of a link between the disability and the gender. Harding is a character in the novel whose young wife is the subject of group therapy sessions. A feeling of emasculation is cultivated to Harding by his wife, which displays the struggle of power even more. In addition, the Nurse Ratched clearly utilizes the men’s emasculation disability to help her maintain strict control over the inmates. Ratched is the leader of the treatment sessions whose main work is to encourage the patients to always to view themselves as emasculated. Moreover, she labels Harding’s wife as his main obstacle and encourages them to view one another as a failure and also encourages them to turn on each other’s behavior by reporting in her log book. This mechanism helps her control the performance and the inmates effectively and efficiently.
As described in the novel, Nurse Ratched comes across Billy and the prostitute in each other’s arms, moderately clothed and thereby admonishing him. Billy asserts himself for the first time and answers Nurse Ratched without stuttering. Concurringly, Ratched calmly threatens to tell Billy’s mother what he has observed. As a matter of fact,...

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