One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Review

3262 words - 13 pages

“I’m friends with the monster that’s under my bed/Get along with the voices inside of my head.” are lyrics to Billboard’s number two on the The Hot 100 list, Monster, which shows how much of an issue defining sanity vs insanity is (SongLyrics, Billboard). The line between the two is unclear, as pointed out in this song, sung by Eminem and Rihanna presumed to be sane but show signs of a mental disorder with the internal voices. This song is fictitious, but it relates to the real issue if determining sanity and insanity. Insanity is defined as severe mental illness, as shown through Ken Kesey’s novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest the nurse in charge of making the patients sane may be insane herself (Merriam-Webster, Insanity). The patients may show the most signs of being normal even with diagnosed disorders. In many situations in the novel the line is blurred as to who is insane and who should really be institutionalized.

Nurse Ratched runs the ward and should be the most sane one, but she herself may be the most insane out of all the patients. McMurphy has his clothes stolen during the night and when the Nurse sees him draped in only a towel she is furious. She threats the black boy who did not get McMurphy ward clothes that she can make him "spend the next two weeks on the Geriatrics Ward" but she immediately turns to talk to patients "smiling, sweet as sugar" (Kesey 98, 100). She can be described as having schizophrenia "a chronic condition, requiring lifelong treatment", which can be characterized by disorganized behaviors like her ability be incredibly agitated at a staff member and be sweet to patients right after (Mayo Clinic Staff, Schizophrenia). It can also include lack of emotion as shown by her inability to sympathize with McMurphy's clothes being stolen or reconsider how degrading her ward policy is to patients. Doctor Spivey describes the ward as a democratic community so McMurphy holds a vote to see who is interested in watching the World Series games. He gets 21 votes for the majority, but the Nurse shuts off the tv once all the men sit down to watch it. They continue to sit and watch the blank tv, just to show the Nurse that they can make decisions (118, 142, 145). Nurse Ratched also has delusions of the men's happiness level which demonstrates her "beliefs [that] are not based in reality and...involve misinterpretation of perception or experience" one of the more common Schizophrenia symptoms. She should be in an institution for Schizophrenia because if left untreated it often results in severe behavior and emotional problems and "during times of...severe symptoms, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure safety, proper nutrition, [and] adequate sleep" she needs to be in the institution instead of running it (Mayo Clinic Staff, Schizophrenia). Not only does she demonstrate Schizophrenic symptoms, which ties into her Narcissistic Personality Disorder with similar symptoms. Individuals with this disorder...

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