Matriarchy In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Maintaining the Matriarch Quest. A long or arduous search for something. The word quest has many positive connotations. Heroes go on quests to save the pretty girl, find the holy grail, or find themselves in some way. More often than not, people do not consider the villains as being on a quest, but they often are. The “bad guys” are searching too, just not necessarily for the right things. In the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, the antagonist, Nurse Ratched, is on a quest, because she needs to maintain power in the matriarchy at the mental hospital, by structuring herself high-up in the ward, staying calm in the face of uprise, and using fear as a crutch for the patients. When first seeing Nurse Ratched in the novel, Chief Bromden describes her power and her influence on the ward, stating, “she wields a sure power that extends in all directions” (Kesey 30). She has manipulated the system to place herself in the highest position and to insure she will not be receiving uprise from them. Over the years, many doctors with plans and ideas have come and go-- retreating from her “dry-ice eyes, day in, day out” (Kesey 31). Finally, after years of strong-minded doctors, Nurse Ratched finds the perfect, push-over doctor, and she keeps him; she does not know that this weak doctor will…show more content…
Ruckly, a patient on the ward, was “being a holy nuisance all over the place,” which caused the doctors to operate on him-- the operation didn’t go according to plan. This is perfect foreshadowing of how Nurse Ratched plans to use McMurphy in the end. McMurphy loses it, and that gives Big Nurse the opportunity to play the last card: a lobotomy. She plans to use McMurphy as an example, to set fear into the other patients, just like Ruckly. Her plan is thwarted by Chief Bromden, and her plan is not followed through. Fear, throughout the novel, was a huge factor in Nurse Ratched’s
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