There are three major conflicts in the novel, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey. Both internal and external in nature their causes, effects, and resolutions are explored in great detail.
The cause of the conflict between Mac and Ratched begins immediately. As soon as McMurphy enters the ward he shows his individuality. He's loud, brassy and the chief says, "He sounds big." McMurphy publicly introduces himself and stands out from the rest of the men. He shows that he wont be controlled. Ratched wants and expects complete control. She refers to Mac as a, "Manipulator," who will, "
use everyone and everything to his own end. Ironically Ratched is also a Manipulator. Miss Ratched chooses the orderlies to control them, she wants them to hate so they take their anger out on the patients.
Ratched's first win against McMurphy is when he challenges the ward policies on the music. He demands for the music to be shut off or at least turned down. Knowing that all the men are watching she completely humiliates Mac by telling him that she wont turn the music down further more she treats him like a child when she tells him to take his hands off her glass because he was staining them. "
don't be so selfish," says Miss Ratched when Mac asks for the music to be turned down.
Ratched's second major win against McMurphy on the ward is when she forces the men to ignore him and not to play cards with him. Using the threat of rationed cigarettes the patients are still much too afraid of Miss Ratched to go against her orders. McMurphy is completely left alone by the men and Ratched shows that she maintains control.
Although McMurphy does not get the votes of the men because the fear they hve of Ratched McMurphy still comes out victorious when in the end the men eventually do vote to watch the world series. When the men do vote Ratched looses complete control over her ward and it's the first time the men defy her as a group. "And we're sitting there head up...
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