An Analysis of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

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One of the most important things to a man is feeling that he has a sense of power, especially in any relationship with a woman. Without this feeling of masculinity a man may feel weak and powerless. In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest the author Ken Kesey expresses this in the relationships between Billy Bibbit and his mother, Dale Harding and his wife Vera Harding, and Chief Bromden’s father and mother. Kesey also proves this through the characterNurse Ratched. The sense of being a true man, being dependent and having a lot of power is what truly gives a man a life. The reader can see Kesey convey this in the downfalls of each man who lost his masculinity to a woman. Dale Harding is an intelligent, educated and effeminate man. Harding is a target during the group meetings as Nurse Ratched explains how Harding’s wife’s sexuality gives him the feeling of inferiority. While visited by his wife Harding introduces her to McMurphy where she introduces herself as Vera rather than Mrs. Harding. Vera asks for a cigarette and when Harding has none she comments how he never does have enough. McMurphy gives Vera a cigarette and while lighting it she gives him a full view down her blouse. Vera insults Harding’s friends that visit the house and implies that she is unfaithful with at least one of them. The reader can see how Mrs. Hardinghas all of the power in her relationship with Harding. This causes Harding to be feminine and perhaps a homosexual.
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