One Flew over the Cukoo's Nest

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Should We Laugh or Cry?
An Outlook on Therapy and which Types are Actually Therapeutic

Thesis: In Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nurse Ratched exposes the patients to electro-shock therapy and lobotomies, drug therapy, and group therapy; while McMurphy teaches the men to stick up for themselves using laughter, resistance to the Big Nurse, and a fishing trip.

I. Nurse Ratched’s Therapy
A. Electroshock Therapy and Lobotomies
1. The Shock Shop is the one place where the Big Nurse completely dominates how the patients are treated therapeutically. 2. Chief Bromden describes McMurphy’s and his visit to the Shock Shop after fighting with the Black Boys; he explains how unafraid McMurphy is of the procedure. 3. After McMurphy undergoes several rounds of electricity, he is given a lobotomy which ends his reign of terror on the ward. B. Drug Therapy

1. All patients are required to take therapeutic medication. 2. McMurphy resists the drugs; this is when McMurphy takes charge of the ward and begins his own therapy for the patients. C. Group Therapy

1. Harding discusses his wife.
2. Billy tells about the girlfriend he wanted to marry.
3. Big Nurse blames Billy Bibbit’s suicide.
II. McMurphy’s Therapy
A. Laughter
1. McMurphy’s laughter is the first true laughter the men on the ward have heard in a long time. 2. McMurphy believes that laughter is the most powerful resistance against the Big Nurse. B. Resistance to the Big Nurse

1. McMurphy speaks his mind when it comes to the things the Big Nurse deems therapeutic. 2. McMurphy teaches the men on the ward to stick up for themselves when the Big Nurse begins her “chicken peckin’ parties.” C. Fishing Trip

1. McMurphy doesn’t help the men when they ask for help. 2. By then end of the fishing trip, the men are able to laugh aloud instead of hiding behind smiles and snickers.

In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken...
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