One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Character Analysis Essay examples

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Character Analysis Essay examples

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In Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the main characters, Nurse Ratched and McMurphy struggle for power over the ward. Throughout the novel, McMurphy grew from questioning rules to disobeying them completely. In comparison, Nurse Ratched went from verbally emasculating the inmates to physically traumatizing them and destroying their self-esteem. At various moments within the novel, McMurphy has more power, and during others Nurse Ratched seems victorious. McMurphy gains control by appealing to the ward’s inmates with confidence and hope, while Nurse Ratched gains control by emasculating them, and making them feel self conscious. Furthermore, McMurphy has the support of his fellow inmates, while Nurse Ratched uses the rules of the ward, and the government to her advantage. Although Nurse Ratched lobotomizes McMurphy, his beliefs and influence carries on within the rest of the patients. Therefore, this novel suggests that despite Nurse Ratched’s power over the ward, McMurphy’s Impact lives on.
McMurphy is a man destined to change the asylum. At McMurphy’s introduction, readers are unsure of his level of sanity. Regardless, the other patients and staff seem to be attracted to his confidence and cleverish ways to anger Nurse Ratched. McMurphy gains his power by giving the other patients the ability to take back the power that Nurse Ratched has stolen from them with her devious rules and cruelties. In the so called “therapy session” that Nurse Ratched runs, McMurphy points out what he has seen from the ward: "the rest are even scared to open up and laugh. You know, that's the first thing that got me about this place, that there wasn't anybody laughing. I haven't heard a real laugh since I came through that door, do you know...


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...ief’s escape is the final victory for the inmates. He has finally found his voice, his power. He finds his strength and breaks out of the asylum.
In conclusion, Ken Kesey’s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a great representation of a power struggle. The character Nurse Ratched, uses rules and order to keep power over the ward, while Randle McMurphy uses his natural persuasive ability to gain patience and staff on his side. McMurphy gains control by appealing to their hidden confidence and hope. On the other hand, Nurse Ratched uses law and order to force the patience to comply. Although Nurse Ratched lobotomizes McMurphy, ultimately killing him, McMurphy’s beliefs and morals live on with the rest of the patients. Due to McMurphy’s influence, the patients grew confidence and are given reason to live there lives to the fullest without any repercussion.











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