One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Writing Response
To develop the conflict between the antagonist nurse Ratched and the protagonist Randle McMurphy, the author Ken Kesey includes much irony throughout the second part of his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Running the combine, Nurse Ratched tries to keep control over the ward. During the staff meeting, Nurse Ratched decides to play a waiting game in hopes of breaking McMurphy to conform. Ironically, Nurse Ratched decides not to send Randle McMurphy to disturbed. Even though McMurphy was causing a lot of ruckus, “She acts like she still holds all the cards up that white sleeve of hers”(169). The dramatic irony in this statement helps one realize that the big nurse still has control over the ward. Later in part two when McMurphy talks to the lifeguard, he has a revelation as a result of his behavior; he is not going to leave the ward easily. Consequently, McMurphy retires and begins following ward policy. McMurphy starts to behave like everyone else on the ward by cleaning bathrooms. When Cheswich complains during the group meeting, McMurphy does not back up his theory on how they should have cigarettes on the ward. Nurse Ratched discussion of the punishment after McMurphy’s conformation sets McMurphy’s turnaround point at the end of part two. Smashing the Nurses Station glass, McMurphy is ready to battle out against Nurse Ratched to complete the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Ken Kesey clearly uses ironic elements in part two to further the issue between Nurse Ratched and Randle McMurphy.