An essay on the novel "Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

Essay by an2ny April 2004

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A mental institution is a place or a center for rehabilitating persons with mental disabilities or illnesses. One of the major jobs of a mental institution is to make the person, with the mental illness, live a less miserable life. Like being able to eat healthy and nutritious meal, taking the proper medications and therapies, being able to acquire knowledge or information on the outside world and the most essential, getting the proper respect, care and love they need in the midst of their life long disability. However, what if the mental institutions go the opposite of what it should be doing and there's this one patient who knows exactly how to correct the system in a comedic manner?

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey shows a battle between Ms. Big Nurse Ratched's manipulative, obsessive, and robotic system to her patients and R.P. McMurphy, the controversial patient in her ward.

Big Nurse treats her patients pretty badly, emotionally. She uses their emotional disability to control their heart and mind on whatever she pleases them to do. In the novel, McMurphy states that she is somewhat of a ball-cutter, meaning she cuts off their manliness out of them. She makes them fear her, so badly that they cannot say or express what they wanted to do. By the way, all of her patients are male in the novel. She also controls their time, one of the most precious possessions a person should have. Chief Bromden, the narrator of the novel, quotes the Big Nurse is able to set the wall clock at whatever speed she wants by just turning one of those dials in the steel door, she takes a notion to hurry things up, she turns the speed up, and those hands whip around that disk...