The Characters of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest in Film and Novel Essay

The Characters of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest in Film and Novel Essay

Length: 930 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Characters of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest in Film and Novel

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a critically acclaimed novel written by Ken Kesey and later on a movie adaptation, directed by Milos Forman, which was similarly critically acclaimed earning itself an extremely high 96% on rotten tomatoes. However said appraisal of both works, does not excuse the gleaming errors and artistic licensing seen throughout the entirety of the film. Granted there were no major plot holes and alterations present, the physical descriptions of the various characters within the story as well as their behavior differed quite a bit from their silver screen counterparts. The most critical physical and behavioral differences can be seen quite clearly when comparing the book versions of Nurse Ratched, Randal McMurphy and the ward patients of the mental institute.

The main antagonist of the novel(and film) Nurse Ratched is portrayed as the main villain throughout the entirety of both works. Her over towering presence and micromanaging abilities of the ward and the lives of those associated with it are at odds with her rather more feminine body. Kesey, through the narration provided by Bromden, offers us the audience a mental image of an unrealistically proportioned woman who was continuously angered and disappointed at the world around her, making her bitter and “depressed”. The nurse is described as a woman whose bitterness is hidden behind a mask described as one that is “smiling and calm and cold.” (Kesey p. 5). This is also where the film had its first deviation from the source material: In the film, rather than being controlled by an evil machine, Nurse Ratched is shown as the ultimate authority-wielding bureaucrat. Director Forman under...

... middle of paper ...

...arious versions of the same, typical mental patient. In this universe the film I set in, each patient is represented the same way and in the same group, Creating less detail and less investment for audience within the characters as compared to the novel.
In many ways the changes that were made by Forman were there in order to help deliver comedic relief in an otherwise dreary and bleak film. Further more Forman also created “labels” for the character within the film in order for the audience to rally and identify with the characters more. Ranging from the childish demeanors of the ward members, to the more classically evil and dastardly Nurse Ratched. Nevertheless One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a masterpiece with understandable and justifiable changes, done through a simple analysis of the audience, enhanced the plotline without eliminating anything critical.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Christ Like Characters In Harry Potter And One Flew Over The Cukoos Nest

- Christ Like Characters Two very different pieces of literature, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are actually quite similar in some respects. Although one story takes place in a mental hospital and the other deals with wizards in an often invisible world, each is a story of heroism and strength. However, the strongest area of similarity rests within the protagonist of each book. Throughout the novels one can see each one of these characters exemplifying qualities and actions which resemble a moral code or standard of ethics that feels vaguely familiar....   [tags: Comparative Literature]

Free Essays
1785 words (5.1 pages)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest Essay

- In the novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” the characters are in a mental hospital for various reasons. Narrated by Chief Bromden, a large Native American man, the story tells mainly of a newcomer to the hospital, Randle McMurphy, who is not actually mentally ill, but pretends to be to escape work detail. A much-feared middle-aged woman named Mildred Ratched runs the hospital. She runs the hospital like a concentration camp, with harsh rules, little change, and almost no medical oversight. The “prisoners” have a large amount of fear of Nurse Ratched, as she rules the place like she is a soulless dictator, the patients get no say in any decision made....   [tags: Randle McMurphy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest]

Better Essays
964 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Symbols and Symbolism in Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

- Symbolism in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Ken Kesey presents his masterpiece, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, with popular culture symbolism of the 1960s. This strategy helps paint a vivid picture in the reader's mind. Music and cartoons of the times are often referred to in the novel. These help to exaggerate the characters and the state of the mental institution. Popular culture supplies the music which is used as a recurring theme in the novel. McMurphy dislikes the tape playing in the day room because it represents how the ward is run routinely and without change....   [tags: One Flew Over Cuckoos Nest]

Free Essays
520 words (1.5 pages)

Corruption in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Essay

- Corruption in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest As Lord Acton put it in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." This is the truth that is evident both in Ken Kesey book One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. His main characters Nurse Ratched and Randal McMurphy are in a subtle underground war against each other's accumulating power, and corruptness. This idea of great men being bad men is evident in Kesey's book, my experiences, and society in general....   [tags: One Flew Over Cuckoos Nest]

Free Essays
586 words (1.7 pages)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest Essay examples

-         Pros and Cons of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Chaitrangi Patel Eng: 122-03 Prof. Lasky Thesis Statement - The mental institution which restricts the settings and moods the films sets in different scenes. Introduction           >  Name and Director of Film >  Characters II.    Summary of Film          > Jack Nicholson as R.P. McMurphy          > Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched III.     Details in the Film     > Cons     > Pros IV.    Mise en Scene     > Setting     > Cinematography     > Supporting Actors     > Last Scene     V....   [tags: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Randle McMurphy]

Better Essays
1681 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Summary Of ' One Flew Over The Cuckoo 's Nest '

- “There is a point at which everything becomes simple and there is no longer any question of choice, because all you have staked will be lost if you look back. Life 's point of no return.” - Dag Hammarskjold This quote flawlessly describes the state each main character reaches in Chapter 28 of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. By the point of no return, I do not mean that the characters have reached a dead end. My intended meaning is much deeper than that. The point i speak is the point in which they can not revert to their old selves....   [tags: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Randle McMurphy]

Better Essays
2078 words (5.9 pages)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Essay

- 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 does so is no other than R.P. McMurphy. Scanlon, Harding, Bibbit, and Chief Bromden may have become adjusted to the oppressive system in which they lived, but certainly were much better adjusted to the real world and life in general after their experienc...   [tags: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest]

Better Essays
1632 words (4.7 pages)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey Essay

- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, written by Ken Kesey in 1962, is a book about a lively con man that turns a mental institution upside down with his rambunctious antics and sporadic bouts with the head nurse. Throughout the book, this man shows the others in the institution how to stand up for themselves, to challenge conformity to society and to be who they want to be. It is basically a book of good versus evil, the good being the con man R.P. McMurphy, and the bad being the head nurse, Nurse Ratched....   [tags: One Flew Cuckoo's Nest Kesey]

Free Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

The Individual and The System in Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

- The Individual and The System  One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Many social issues and problems are explored in Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Perhaps the most obvious complaint against society is the treatment of the individual. This problem of the individual versus the system is a very controversial topic that has provoked great questioning of the government and the methods used to treat people who are unable to conform to the government's standards. McMurphy is an individual who is challenging and rebelling against the system's rules and practices....   [tags: One Flew Over Cuckoos Nest]

Free Essays
479 words (1.4 pages)

Essay McMurphy as Christ in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

- McMurphy as Christ in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest In "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," McMurphy is successfully perceived as a heroic Christ figure. Kesey uses foreshadowing and images, the fishing trip, actions and feelings of other characters to develop this character. Foreshadowing clues and images are used to contribute to McMurphy as a figure of Christ. In the beginning of the novel McMurphy is baptized with a shower before entering the ward. The reader is also introduced to Ellis, a character who spends the entire novel in a cross position "nailed against the wall, arms out," (page 20)....   [tags: One Flew Over Cuckoos Nest]

Free Essays
565 words (1.6 pages)