One flew over the cuckoo's nest by Ken Kesey

Essay by mike szarferCollege, UndergraduateA-, January 1997

download word file, 3 pages 4.3

One flew over the Cuckoo's nest, by Ken Kesey, is about patients and doctors in a mental institution. The author talks a lot about what goes on in this institute. The main points in this book deal with control, be it the character of McMurphy who is unable to handle control, or Nurse Ratched the head nurse on the ward whose job requires her to be in control. The world of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is dark; it is a place where control leads to destruction, but the novel shows through the character of The Chief that there is still hope if the people who are being controlled have the power to resist.

Nurse Ratched is a mean woman whose job revolves around control. She depends on people who are less fortunate than her to make a living. Her need to control others is an unfortunate trait that she has because it makes people unable to think for themselves and it also leads to destruction.

One example of this is when Nurse Ratched caught one of the patients (Billy Bibbit) with a woman. The nurse feeling the need to control Billy threatened to tell his mother. Billy begged Nurse Ratched not to tell her but when his requests were refused Billy slashed his neck with a broken bottle and killed himself. Billy's life was destroyed because of Nurse Ratched's need to control others.

Another place that we see the dark world is when we examine the relationship between Nurse Ratched and R.P. McMurphy. McMurphy is a happy and rebellious man. He is not used to being controlled, so when he gets into the institution he refuses to be controlled by Nurse Ratched, 'I can get the best of that woman- before the week is up-without...