One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest Essay

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It is Not Always the Patients

In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, Nurse Ratched is a psychopath. This is shown through her lack of empathy or remorse while allowing the aides to be cruel to the patients, her attempts at intimidation and her ways of not settling for anything less than what she wants. First, Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because she shows no signs of empathy or remorse towards the patients. During the novel, Nurse Ratched allows the aides to get away with anything they please. One example of this happening is when the narrator portrays what has happened to the past patient, Mr. Taber: “The nurse comes down the hall, smearing Vaseline on a long needle, then pulls the door shut so they’re out of sight for a second, then comes right back out, wiping the needle on a shred of Taber’s pants” (Kesey, 36). Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because not only did she allow the aides to sexually assault Mr. Taber, but helped them to do it by sedating him. Therefore, meaning that he had no chance of fighting back, or stopping what was happening to him. This shows that Nurse Ratched has no problem with the horrible acts that the aides were committing and was even willing to help them. Next, Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because of her attempts to be intimidating. Shortly after McMurphy was admitted into the ward, even though the nurse knew his name she continually spoke it incorrectly. This is revealed during a conversation between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched during the story: “'Perhaps doctor, you should advise Mr. McMurry on the protocol of these group meetings.' 'Ma’am’, McMurphy says, 'Have I told you about my uncle Hallahan and the woman who used to screw up his name?' 'I beg your pardon, Mack-Murphy'” (Kesey, 47). Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because she clearly knew how to say McMurphy’s actual name. The only reason she continually spoke it incorrectly was to attempt to invoke intimidation on McMurphy, by making it seem...
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