One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest Essay

Topics: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Character, Randle McMurphy Pages: 2 (663 words) Published: April 14, 2013
How does the author use the interactions between the central character and two other characters to explore ideas in the text? The protagonist of a text acts upon other characters within the novel and help express themes and ideas through these collaborations. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey the protagonist, Randle Patrick McMurphy, comes into the psychiatric ward that manipulates patients to conform to their rules where he is the black sheep of them all. He constantly challenges Nurse Ratched, the caretaker of the patients, in an effort to help them in his own way. Kesey illustrates the dangers of the empowerment and control that result in both the triumph and defeat by pitching the strengths and weaknesses of the central and minor characters in the text, using diction and characterization to allow the audience to understand that when individuals are faced with extreme challenges in a stifling environment the consequences can be tragic. Kesey uses the element of diction to express manipulation in the cold, unfeeling environment of a mental hospital to showcase how empowerment can be catastrophic when the character has their extreme vulnerability exploited. Throughout the novel, Nurse Ratched influences the patients on the ward to do conform to her control by taking advantage of their weaknesses. On the occasional morning, she would mention to Billy Bibbit, whose mother was a close friend of the Nurse’s, that his mother was thinking of him all the time and emphasizing that she “knew” he wouldn’t do anything to get in trouble. Through this diction Kesey allows the audience to see how the Nurse uses psychological pressure on Billy to make him obey the rules of her ward. Near the end of the text Billy Bibbit was confident, due to McMurphy encouraging him, until Nurse Ratched manipulated Billy again to the point he committed suicide. The Nurse had walked in on Billy with a girl and she said she wasn’t sure how to tell his “poor mother” how he had gone...
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