one cuckoo’s nest One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest For as long as time could tell, whenever and wherever there is a corrupt ruling system in place, there will always be an opposing force trying to over throw it. This ruling system can be a variety of things. In some cases it is the government, a boss, or basically anything or anyone that has some type of control or authority over something else or someone else. In some cases the opposition can successfully take over control of these corrupt systems, while in other incidents the opposition is pitifully pounded back to silence.
In other cases, the opposing force will be beaten, but in their shadowy remains lye a path for future generations to follow. In the case of Mc Murphy and the Big nurses a power struggle, the opposition (Mc Murphy) gets beaten silent, yet his words will continue to ring throughout the halls of the ward. Mc Murphy has been made a martyr, and has ultimately stripped Big Nurse of her abused powers and paved the way for fellowmen to escape her entrapment.
Based on the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, it seems that the authors’ perspective on this issue is that the system in place during this time period is in need of change. Ken seems to like the revolutionist characteristics found in his main character, and emphasizes the idea of questioning the authority power. His belief seems to be that even if you are not successful in changing the system in entire, the effects of a person trying can still be very effective. In fact, if all you manage to accomplish is changing a small aspect of the system, it was still all well worth the fight. For as seen, the effects of a minor victory, ripple into much larger victories in the battles to come. As a revolutionist, you set an example for others to follow and in essence pave the way for others to follow. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the main character, Randle Patrick McMurphy, fights to change the system in a mental hospital. McMurphy is very outgoing, loud, rugged, manly, a leader and a rebel. From the first couple scenes of the book, there is a constant power struggle between the patient’s new found savior McMurphy, and the evil Nurse Ratchet who rules their wing of the hospital with an iron fist. McMurphy fights to change the system to try to win back the patients’ rights and in the process gain more privileges for the patients and himself. McMurphy also seems to get pleasure out of fighting the system. His motives seem simple, he wants to help out his fellow patients, his friends, and make their lives better. This is very similar to the real life rebellion against the “Tyranny of the Majority” which was occurring during this time period. McMurphy was successful in changing many of the rules and regulations that were imposed upon them by Nurse Ratchet. McMurphy was a very inspirational speaker and during the regularly occurring meetings between the patients and the doctors he would rally the patients to fight against Nurse Ratchet. Thus he was able to win back some of their rights. This type of action was also witnessed during Ken Kessleys time, and quite similarly, revolutionists also won many rights from the state that had once been taken from them during their life time. In the novel, McMurphy also uses his cunning wit and his skills as a con man to persuade the doctors into giving the patients more rights and activities. An example of this is when McMurphy is able to con Dr. Spivey to get a room where he and a bunch of other patients can go to play cards without the loud music coming over the intercom. This type of persuading the political leaders of the system was also seen and very helpful during the time this novel was published. In real life many fights against the system are lost. Even though McMurphy loses some of his fights, he keeps on fighting, trying to change the system. In this novel McMurphy uses many tools to try to change the system, among them are his voice and his power to rally the patients, brute force, and violence. In the end McMurphy loses his life in the fight to change the system, but he left a substantial impact on the hospital and the policies of Nurse Ratchet. His fight to change the system was well worth it because of the positive change it brought to so many patients. Before his ultimate death, McMurphy does win some major battles at the ward. From battle to battle against the system, McMurphy leads his lost chronic soldiers beyond enemy lines and toward safety. Even after being smothered from his command position, it was as if he had never left their side. For the path he paved was much to large to be coverup with the leaves left by Big Nurse. By following McMurphys footsteps, the squad finally found the light within society, and stepped into it with open arms and wishful smiles. No longer were they under the control of the system and its rules. he had broken free from the routine, and in the end, changed the world as they knew it. It is evident that it’s very difficult to change the system, but it is possible. The right type of character and personality is a big help when you are trying to achieve success in fighting the system. In order to make a true difference you have to keep on trying and fighting. Even if you just change a small area of the system, the majority of the time it is well worth the fight. In this novel the main character was successful in changing some aspect of the system. To him, the corruption unfair practices, and indecencies were enough. Something had to be done, and he did it. Word Count: 1003
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