The Theme of Power in Cuckoo's Nest

The Theme of Power in Cuckoo's Nest

  • Submitted By: nikesq
  • Date Submitted: 03/02/2009 4:13 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1189
  • Page: 5
  • Views: 750

Authority has made its place in history as the stereotypical-iron-fisted-tyrant who feels not pity and shows no mercy. Slowly, but consistently, these dictators have managed to become a part of our daily lives. After years of espionage and propaganda, we have grow to be numb to the ways of our despots, and have become so set in repetition, we expect no change. We have adapted to facilitate their expectations and goals unmitigated power over all that is in their tight grip. To visitors in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the ward appears as a peaceful patriarchal home, when in reality, Nurse Ratched had managed to castrate all the inmates without much manipulation and exploitation because of their insecurity as individuals. Her size and knowledge of use of idioms and body language proves her intimidation can whip the unstable patients into her shape. They believe Big Nurse is their only option as a future, until McMurphy proves them wrong with his chaotic, charismatic unique personality, which proves that only disorder is the cure to “insanity” caused by constant authority.

In the beginning, life for the mental patients at the Big Nurse’s ward is bleak and cold. Chief Bromden, (more commonly known as Chief Broom), our “deaf and mute” narrator, shows us a less than pleasant view of how we see life for the insane. The head of the ward is Nurse Ratched, who holds authority over not only her African American henchman, but of Doctor Spivey himself. Her powder white skin show purity and wholehearted innocence to onlookers, while the staff and patients know better. They are her rabbits, and she is their wolf.

“Oh, don’t misunderstand me, were not in here because we are rabbits, we’d be rabbits wherever we were, we’re all in here because we can’t adjust to our rabbit hood. We need a good strong wolf like the Nurse to teach us our place.”

Chief Broom often mentions being engulfed by the concealing fog on behalf of the Big Nurses emotions, or slipping into it by...

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