One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Essay by spoonman419High School, 12th gradeA+, July 2004

download word file, 4 pages 4.8

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, such as Electro-Shock Therapy or a Lobotomy. Then Mr. R. P. McMurphy arrives on the ward. He comes in hooting and hollering and generating all sorts of chaos. He causes all sorts of commotion and intrigue. He is able to make their fears of Big Nurse subside. They trust him, and they rely on him to confront Big Nurse on many issues that are troubling the "acutes" on the ward; he is their delegate.

He causes the other patients to become very riled up about the way the ward is operated; and in the end, gives them the courage to fight for themselves. The other patients feel as if he is the person in charge; no longer does Big Nurse hold her tight grip of control over them. The other patients found on the ward benefited unquestionably from the friendship of Kesey's rousing and charismatic character, Randall Patrick McMurphy.

McMurphy was able to take away nearly all the fears of Big Nurse that the other patients may have possessed. With his joviality, kinship, and his convivial attitude he was able to transcend the ward and the dogmatic regulations of Big Nurse by uplifting the other patient's spirits, and taking away their dolorous ways of life. He taught the other men on the ward that there are some things worth living for, and they don't...