one flew over the cuckoos nest Essay

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Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest takes place in a mental hospital. The main character, or protagonist is Randle P. McMurphy, a convicted criminal and gambler who feigns insanity to get out of a prisoners work ranch. The antagonist is Nurse Ratched also referred to as The Big Nurse . She is in charge of running the mental ward. The novel is narrated by a patient of the hospital, an American Indian named Chief Bromden. Chief Bromden has been a patient at the hospital longer than any of the others, and is a paranoid-schizophrenic, who is posing as a deaf mute. The Chief often drifts in and out between reality and his psychosis. The conflict in the novel is between McMurphy and The Big Nurse
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Nurse Ratched gains her power through her sterility which she does with no makeup and white uniform, as well as her emasculation of the male patients and doctors. The Big Nurse ' takes the place of the mother role or other over domineering feminine role in a lot of the patients lives, which led them to their psychological castration. To the Chief, the nurse takes on the role of his white mother who orchestrated the downfall and emasculation of his father and the selling of his tribal land to the white people. Another patient Billy Bibbit a thirty one year old man whose mental problems were due to his over domineering mother , who was friends with Nurse Ratched. The downfall of Billy was toward the climax of the novel when The Big Nurse brought to the surface Billy's inability to stand up to his mother and her years of psychological castration, and soon after, came his suicide. Kesey incorporates many other sub-themes into One Flew Over The Cuckoo's nest but all of them represent a larger than simply the battle between The Big Nurse and McMurphy. They all center around one central theme and that is the struggle between good and evil. This struggle shows up In many of Americas most definitive stories. And among these definitive stories is that of Jesus Christ. Kesey weaves this story with One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest with religious

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