One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest - Written Responces Essay

This essay has a total of 833 words and 4 pages.

One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest - Written Responces

McMurphy is the saviour of the institution. McMurphy starts off as a run of the muck
person not needing medical attention and almost from the start realizes what's going on in
the institute and works (sometimes in an odd way) but to help the inmates get out of the
"fog". Where the other patients are timid and quiet, McMurphy is cocky and loud; where
they are unable to do more than snicker, his healthy laughter shakes the walls; where they
are sexually repressed, he is a self-proclaimed (and, by the evidence, genuine) champion
lover.


Much of Cuckoo's Nest is devoted to showing how McMurphy teaches the rest of the patients
to be sane. What does this sanity consist of? Above all, it is the ability to laugh, both
at yourself and at a world that is often ludicrous and cruel. Says Chef Bromden, "He knows
you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to
keep the world from running you plumb crazy." He may brag, but he never takes himself too
seriously. When George Sorenson refuses to shake his "dirty" hand, McMurphy doesn't take
offence, merely jokes, "Hand, how do you suppose that old fellow knew all the evil you
been into?" And he accepts himself. Where Harding is embarrassed by his "feminine" hands,
McMurphy is at ease with his gentler side- his fine handwriting, for example.


One of the ways the Nurse and other members of the Combine destroy men is by making them
impotent. The Chief's return to sanity is signalled in part by an erection. Billy will
defeat his domineering mother (and Nurse Ratched) when he loses his virginity to Candy.
Equally important is McMurphys disregard of society's rules and conventions whether he is
brushing his teeth with soap powder, letting Martini play his own wild style of Monopoly,
or watching a non-existent baseball game on a blank television screen, McMurphy never lets
rules or even common sense stand in the way of good fun which comes from his rebellious
side. This shows the other patients that the Power of the Big Nurse is not absolute and
complete, they don't have to live the way she says, she is governed by rules (although
loosely) but she can be over come.


The court that sent McMurphy to the hospital ruled him a psychopath; while his diagnosis
is so obviously harsh even Dr. Spivey doubts it, while the readers may lead to suspect
that it contains just a bit of truth. Among the characteristics of a psychopathic
personality are "extreme self-centeredness and a disregard for moral and social
responsibilities" - Mum (Nurse). Certainly McMurphy shows some of those characteristics in
the early portion of the book. He came to the hospital only to seek an easier life than he
had at the work farm, and at first the battles he fights are fought solely in pursuit of
that easy life. They may benefit the other patients, but first they benefit him: it's
McMurphy who wants to play cards in the tub room, who wants to watch the World Series.
Even the Chief suspects that McMurphy has escaped the Combine because he has "no one to
care about, which is what made him free enough to be a good con man."
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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