One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest: Every Person is Different

One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest: Every Person is Different

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One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest: Every Person is Different


In this world there are millions upon millions of people that roam around the earth in there own special, little life. Every person is different than the next one and he or she has their own personality. Each person also deals with life differently than the next. If everyone was the same, then we would be like one giant colony of ants. Just following the ant in front of us, and everyone looking the same as the next. Not having any of there own ideas or thoughts of what to do and how to do it.


Some people are what you may call "normal", some are depressed, some are mentally ill, and some are just plain old crazy. In the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, written by Ken Kesey, the author shows how people can act so differently and have different ways of dealing with their problems. The story is narrated by Chief Bromden who is thought to be deaf and dumb. He tells of a man by the name of R. P. McMurphy, who was a con man, and was convicted of statutory rape. He told the officials that, "she was 18 and very willing if you know what I mean."( ) He was sent to a work farm, where he would spend some time, working off his crime. Since he was so lazy, he faked being insane and was transferred to a mental ward, somewhere near Portland, Oregon. On his arrival he finds some of the other members of the asylum to be almost "normal" and so he tries to make changes to the ward; even though the changes he is trying to make are all at his own expense. As time goes on he gets some of the other inmates to realize that they aren't so crazy and this gets under the skin of the head nurse. Nurse Ratched (the head nurse) and McMurphy have battle upon battle against each other to show who is the stronger of the two. He does many things to get the other guys to leave the ward. First he sets up a fishing trip for some of them, then sets up a basketball team, along with many smaller problems and distractions. Finally Nurse Ratched gives him all he can handle and he attacks her.

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That is it for poor old McMurphy. He is sent to a different part of the ward called "Disturbed" where is given a lobotomy and turned into a vegetable. The end of the books tells how Chief Bromden was actually not deaf and dumb, but could hear everything that was going on. In the end, the chief smothers McMurphy then breaks out of the ward and runs away to his freedom. Even though McMurphy is dead, he won the actually battle. Because, many of the inmates end up leaving and the nurse loses control of her ward. McMurphy showed all of the men that if they didn't follow the leader and acted as themselves that things would go smoother and they would have a better all around life.


One of the biggest changes was that of Chief Bromden. He was a giant Native American who thought he had lost his size and that no one listened to him. Ever since he was a little kid, he felt as though no one would ever listen to him when he talked, so he just began not talking. He hadn't said anything until McMurphy came to the ward. The reason he pretended to be deaf and dumb was to protect himself from the pain of being hurt by people who didn't listen to him anyway. He would just walk around the ward pushing his broom and listen to the people of the ward. He heard the nurses talking about other patients and of the things that were going to happen in the ward, and even all the cruel and brutalizing remarks people said about him. No matter what they would say, he would say or do nothing back. Many of the workers there called him Chief Broom and would do nothing but make fun of him. After he saw how McMurphy would fight back, he then began to talk and fight back. McMurphy saved him from his life of silence and so he saved McMurphy from his life of being a vegetable. In my mind Chief Bromden made one of the largest changes. After all of those years of being silent, then all of a sudden he begins to fight back and take back his life.


Nurse Ratched was a huge part of the book, she was the one that had all of the inmates thinking that they were nothing. I guess you could say she was playing god when it came to the asylum. She told them when to wake up, when to go to bed, when to eat, when to work, when to play, and even when to brush their teeth. She was always beating then down verbally and reminding them of their problems. This way she could always have full control of everyone. Her plan worked for quite sometime, that is until McMurphy came around. She began to lose control of the men in the ward, and this drove her nuts. Every problem she had, she would blame it on McMurphy. She never changed throughout the entire book. No matter what she had to be right and be in charge. At one point she took away their cigarettes, so they couldn't use them as money and play cards anymore. Finally at the end of the book, she lost all of her control and she was not Big Nurse Ratched. Unlike before, the men would tell her no and talk back to her.


The main character of the book was R. P. McMurphy. He was a con man who faked his insanity and was asigned to the mental ward. He was wild and did not listen to authority at all. The entire time he was at the asylum, he challenged Nurse Ratched's authority. I thought of him as some sort of an out-law. He felt that laughter was the key to everything. He taught the men of the ward how to laugh again. He was a hero to all the men at the ward. The other men followed him around and did what he did. They thought that he could do no wrong....ever. Even when he was cheating them in poker, they still loved him. In some sense he was alot like Robin Hood. Robin Hood (McMurphy) would steal from the rich (Nurse Ratched) and give to the poor (other inmates). After he did that the rich would harm the poor, and the poor still loved Robin Hood. Mr. McMurphy was a very strong willed man and he proved it to everyone even Nurse Ratched.


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest shows how people act and react to people. It also shows the changes that can occur, when you are surronded by different people. As I read this book it showed me what a person can accomplish when they do not follow all of the other ants in the colony. If you chose to go ahead of everyone else and just give it a try you may be surprised how things come out.

Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Penguin USA: 1963
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