This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

2909 words - 12 pages

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest is a compelling novel that challenges the reader's perception of sanity and insanity. This novel examines the issue of sanity in a somewhat modern society. Kesey illustrates the workings of a mental hospital and the affect of these workings on the people in the hospital. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Kesey reverses control in the mental hospital by proving the patients can show more sanity than those who are in control of the hospital. This can be seen in the characters of Nurse Ratched, Randle Patrick McMurphy, and Chief Bromden. Together these main characters create the action of the novel and start the sequence of events leading to a tragic ending.No story is complete without a sense of good and bad. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest all the evil needed is provided in the character of Nurse Ratched, know as "The Big Nurse" to patients on the ward. Ratched is a cold, uncaring woman in control of the ward in the hospital, that is the setting throughout the novel. Although Dr. Spivey has the most authority on the ward, Ratched controls everything that happens. She intimidates the patients to do what she wants them to do and is not open to change on her ward. In the beginning of the novel the reader is introduced to Nurse Ratched by Bromden, the narrator of the novel, who explains her control over the hospital and how everything works on the ward: "The Big Nurse tends to get real put out if something keeps her outfit from running like a smooth, accurate, precision made machine" (Kesey 30) Not only does Nurse Ratched intimidate patients to remain in control of the ward, she also keeps the staff in fear. Through character development it is demonstrated that the nurse is not a suitable for her position in the hospital. "she must make them fear and respect her so that she can feel superior" (Malin 441). At all times the nurse projects an image of power and control when she is actually very insecure about herself and her surroundings. This projection of security and control is more for her benefit than the ward's. Nurse Ratched is very unsure of herself and she goes to extents to hide her body underneath a plain, unflattering uniform. Ratched shows no sign of emotion when dealing with the patients or the staff. It is Ratched's personality, mixed with the personality of McMurphy, that causes the main conflict of the novel. Ratched runs a dictatorship in the ward in which she in the dictator. In order to be released from the hospital it is expected that patients need to be able to accept change and to live in a normal social setting before they can leave the ward, but their teacher for these lessons is the Nurse Ratched. She is an anti-social character who can not deal with change at all one her ward. She is unable to help the patients on the ward and eventually begins to lose control after the introduction of McMurphy into her life. McMurphy has the courage to openly...

Find Another Essay On One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

1045 words - 5 pages In the 1950’s, mental hospitals weren’t what they are now. In Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, he shows how people in mental hospitals were treated at that time all through the eyes of an Indian man named Chief Bromden. Ken Kesey uses his personal experiences to add settings and even characters to show this in his writing. His life is clearly seen by McMurphy’s problem with authority which goes perfectly with his own and by the

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

931 words - 4 pages In Ken Kesey's novel, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, the psychotic ward (prior to the arrival of the boisterous, auspicious character named Randall Patrick McMurphy,) was a place of order, and a place where the patients respected the rules dictated by the revered Miss Ratched, the Head, or "Big" Nurse. The patients did not analyze or question the policies created by Big Nurse; they did not dare defy them for fear of life-altering punishment

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

1551 words - 6 pages the ward are extremely detrimental to Chief’s mental state. Works Cited "Download Schizophrenia: Public Attitudes, Personal Needs." Schizophrenia Survey: Public Attitudes, Personal Needs: A Survey on Schizophrenia by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. National Alliance on Mental Illness, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. Goodfriend, Wind. "Mental Hospitals in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”." "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" Psychology Today

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

1002 words - 4 pages Caroline DuffyAP LanguageDr. Tanenbaum4 March 2013In Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, an analogy of Christ is maintained throughout the entire novel. Kesey compares red-headed boisterous McMurphy to a Christ-like savior. The novel points out that the human race needs a savior to lead them to do what is "right". Jesus led people to salvation and taught them what he thought was right. McMurphy was like Christ to the men in the asylum

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

1634 words - 7 pages One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest      Sometimes in life people are forced to conform to a certain situation for lack of a better alternative, and this is the case in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. These such people lack the will to stand up for their scruples, and intern are simply guided through their mundane lives by the powers that be. Until someone comes along offering them leadership and the prospect to become “big again.” The man who

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

639 words - 3 pages As the narrator of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Chief Bromden, a paranoid half- American Indian man, has managed to go unnoticed for ten years by pretending to be deaf and dumb as a patient at an Oregon mental asylum. While he towers at six feet seven inches tall, he has fear and paranoia that stem from what he refers to as The Combine: an assemblage whose goal is to force society into a conformist mold that fits civilization to its benefit

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest review

3262 words - 13 pages 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

"One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"

1651 words - 7 pages two of the others still believe in him. Then the Chief almost loses his faith in McMurphy over an incident with the control panel. McMurphy bets with the other patients that the Chief is strong enough to lift the panel. Since McMurphy has restored him to strength, the Chief is successful, and McMurphy wins the bet. But the other patients are very disillusioned about losing their money one more time.Soon enough, the hijinks of the patients lead them

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

833 words - 3 pages It all starts one morning when Chief Bromden, also known as Chief Broom, a confused half Indian man who claims to be deaf and dumb so everybody ignores him. Bromden regularly suffers from hallucinations. The institution he is placed in is controlled and managed by Nurse Ratched, also known as the Big Nurse, a cold and strict woman who was a former Army nurse. She maintains order by having absolute control over everyone including the patients

Research Paper for the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

956 words - 4 pages PAGE PAGE PAGE Comparison Of Mental Institutions In 1960's America, and The One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestThe novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, written by Ken Kesey, is known as one of America's finest and most popular books. This book, published in 1962, brought a huge wave of impact to Americans at the time by bringing truthful and realistic aspects and imageries of mental facilities and institutions (Swaine). The novel bases its

ECT(shock therapy) in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

719 words - 3 pages of nutrients which can cause improper heart function. Endorphins, the body's "pain killer", are released to reduce the severity of seizures. The body's glandular system responds to electric shock by flooding the body with many major hormones including adrenalin, growth hormone, thyroxine, prolactin, and oxytocin.In 1975, the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a story based on Ken Kesey's novel, was released. In the movie, Jack Nicholson

Similar Essays

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

703 words - 3 pages One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest takes place in a mental institution in the Pacific Northwest. The narrator of the novel is Chief Bromden, also known as Chief Broom, a catatonic half-Indian man whom everybody thinks is deaf and dumb. The institution is dominated by Nurse Ratched (Big Nurse), a cold, precise woman with calculated gestures and a calm, mechanical manner. She has absolute authority over the

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest 758 Words

758 words - 3 pages Who Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest...?In the 1975 film adoption to Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, the character Randall McMurphy brings the hospital to life with his ability to undermine the rules and regulations of his ward. After being sent to jail for alleged statutory rape, McMurphy fakes insanity to relieve himself of backbreaking prison labor. After the prison hears his plea, McMurphy is sent to an insane asylum

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest 770 Words

770 words - 3 pages Paper written for Psychology class Well written summary and application to ECTOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest In the movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest, there was a character named McMurphy, played by Jack Nickolson, who was admitted into a mental institution for medical testing after having been convicted of statutory rape. It was obvious that he was only faking and he thought that he could get off from having to serve his

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

680 words - 3 pages In One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest the total institution was a mental institution. The patients had to live their whole day within the same atmosphere, eating, sleeping and playing in the same place. They played basketball in the court yard and cards in the community room. They all slept in a wide open room. They have group meetings, they would act like they can do what ever they wanted, but in reality head Nurse Ratched is really controlling