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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Character Analysis

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Although Ken Kesey creates Nurse Ratched as a thoughtful and caring nurse throughout One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Kesey reveals Nurse Ratched’s authoritative demeanor she holds throughout the ward. The ward runs on a policy-based system that Nurse Ratched has created to ensure the floor works like a machine. But, now that McMurphy has become a part of the ward, he is determined to mess up, even the littlest bit, of Nurse Ratcheds system. Specifically, when Nurse Ratched walks into the ward she finds McMurphy standing in nothing but his towel with his toothbrush in his hand. Nurse Ratched is becoming “madder and more frustrated than ever” because she expected an aid to have “[issue] a change of greens” to McMurphy (89). Here, Kesey has brought …show more content…
Also, Kesey reveals Ratched authoritative figure during the Friday group meeting sessions. When Nurse Ratched refers to McMurphy at the start of the group meeting as “McMurry”, she does it on purpose to show the authority she has over him (44). But, as Ratched “calm as anything” takes out McMurphy’s folder and “opens it and starts reading” about the wrongdoings McMurphy has done (44). Not only does Kesey prove that Nurse Ratched is the superior, but she is a character who will always use the upper hand to put the patients in the ward in their place. Kesey shows Nurse Ratched true authoritative figure by comparing her to a wolf, and everyone else as a rabbit. Harding mentions to McMurphy everyone throughout the ward knows she uses her authoritative demeanor to her advantage, but no one has the guts to stand up to her. As Harding states, “The rabbits accept their role in the ritual and recognize the wolf as the strong”

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