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Cuckoo’s Nest Final Essay
Some may say that men are more dominant than women, but in this fictional novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, written by Ken Kesey, Kesey argues that the only way for men to be masculine, powerful, and free is through sexual dominance. Several examples of sexual roles determining power balance is between Harding and his wife, Nurse Ratched and the patients, and McMurphy. The relationship between Harding and his wife is an example of how men can be inferior to women because they lack sexual dominance. Nurse Ratched reads McMurphy’s log book out loud to the rest of the patients and that’s when they find out what Hardings’ real role in his relationship is. Kesey writes, “He also stated that his wife’s ample bosom at times gives him a feeling of inferiority” (pg. 44). This quote shows how Harding’s wife controls the relationship because her beauty proves her to be the dominant one of the couple. Another example of how Ken Kesey makes Mrs. Harding look like the bigger one of the two is when she comes to visit the ward and begins to talk to Harding and McMurphy. She says, “I hate Mrs. Harding, Mack; why don’t you call me Vera? (pg. 183)” This quote shows that even though she’s the woman, she tends to think of herself as a better person than just “Mrs. Harding”. She tries to make herself not related to him and ends up the bigger one because she is more sexually dominant.

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