The quote "if you want to make enemies try to change something" by Woodrow Wilson is applied in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Discuss

Essay by Alex499High School, 11th gradeA-, May 2007

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The quote “If you want to make enemies try to change something” by Woodrow Wilson is applied in Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Kesey allows the responder to view the enemies that McMurphy makes in his attempt to change the way the institution is run and the way the other patients are treated. His heroic attempt does have consequences however which is demonstrated throughout the novel.

Prior to the entry of McMurphy the institution was regimented and patients were stripped of all identity. There was no fighting or hostility between any of the patients, and this was because no change occurred. Nurse Ratched had total and complete control over everyone and everything. All patients conform to her rules or face punishment. Taber is an example of what happens when one tries to change things. He questioned what was in his pills and refused to take them. By doing this he became Nurse Ratched’s enemy and was lobotomised so that order was retained and so that fear was instilled in all other patients on the ward.

The entrance of McMurphy causes great change. He is everything that Nurse Ratched is against. He is an uncouth, unhygienic, confident and sexual man who influences the change of the entire ward and all the patients within it. From his very entrance the other patients know he is different. “but the new guy is different, and the Acutes can see it, different from anybody been coming on this ward for the past 10 years, different from anybody they even met outside.” This difference is what allows McMurphy to have so much influence because all the other patients admire and revere him so greatly. He reveals to the other patients what Nurse Ratched really is “what she is is a ball cutter,