Theme Of Power In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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One needs to be honest, know right from wrong and have respect for others and without these basic principles do not expect anything positive to come from a person. He or she will abuse power when it is given, as they does not perceive it as wrong. In Ken Keseys’ One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest both Nurse Ratched and McMurphy abuse their power over the other patients in the ward. They have different ways and motive but it can be narrowed down to personal gain. Power is easily abused when the person possessing it is never challenged, actively seeks it and feels entitled to it. It could be said that the abusers are fully aware of what they are doing, but although aware of it, that does not mean they are doing it just because they can. The distinction between the use and abuse of power is a matter of perception. Abusers generally do not perceive themselves as abusing, merely using it to pursue their goals. People start abusing power when they are surrounded by sycophants or “yes people” and gradually start seeing the world through a distorted lense that filters out critical input. Unchecked power is blinding and corrupting because the person in power is normally disconnected from the people they have power over. Throughout the begining of Keseys’ novel…show more content…
As a character McMurphy is not classed as a sadist but as soon as he entered the ward his first mission was to be the leader of the ward, as he put it “Then you tell Bull Goose Loony Harding that R. P. McMurphy is waiting to see him and that this hospital ain’t big enough for the two of us. I’m accustomed to being top man… I figure if I’m bound to be a loony, then I’m bound to be a stompdown dadgum good one”(24). People like McMurphy actively seek out positions that will give them control and power over others, not to cause them harm, but because they are not able to find it anywhere else in their
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