Professional Image Paper

1341 Words6 Pages
The brilliant One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a psychiatric film is compared with The English Patient, set at the closing of World War II. Both films use powerful nurse characters to portray a unique nurse image. Through the use of strong nurse characters, contrasting nurse images are portrayed. Nurse Ratched, from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, is a middle-aged former army nurse who is head of the hospital ward and is characterized as a cold repressive authoritarian and Hana, from The English Patient, is a 20-year-old Canadian army nurse characterized as warm and kindhearted. The films shed light on the emotional depths of the nurses’ unique relationship with their patients. Nurse Ratched conceals her humanity by appearing rigid and condescending towards her patients whereas Nurse Hana emphasizes her humanity through defining love and compassion through her nursing role.

Nurse Ratched is represented as an oppressive dictator whose unbendable authority dehumanizes the mentally ill patients through progressive psychological emasculation. Her methods involve harsh control and complete submission to her will. This was intensely apparent during the group therapy that she conducted. Group therapy in itself was ill therapeutic, for it was a form of control led by Nurse Ratched, believing that she was genuinely helping the patients. Leading these dramatic, but tense groups, she was the source of the progressive psychological emasculation of the patients. In one group therapy instance, Cheswick decides to voice his concerns of the cigarette rationing. However, Nurse Ratched does not support his concerns and sends him to a Disturbed Unit for a while, taking back control. Nurse Ratched utilizes shame to coerce the patients back into d...

... middle of paper ...

...eatly affected by the type of setting they practice in.

The two contrasting nurses portray powerful opposite images of what depicts a nurse. The films are successful at depicting powerful in- depth images of the two nurses with contrasting qualities in two different worlds. Emotional depths of each character are defined through their role as a nurse. Each film emphasizes the nurses’ unique relationship with her patients. Both films reveal humanity, from the view of both nurses illuminated in two vividly contrasting lights, all so successful through the roles of the powerful characters.

Works Cited

Douglas, M. (Producer), & Forman, M. (Director). (1975). One flew over the cuckoo’s nest [Motion picture]. United States: Fantasy Films.

Ondaatje, M. (Filmmaker), & Minghella, A. (Director). (1996). The English Patient

[Motion picture]. England: Miramax Films.
Open Document