Thesis: Kesey uses machinery as a form of imagery to show the reader how life, in and out of the ward was supposed to be orderly with little variety among individuals. Quote:
“Nine o’clock young residents wearing leather elbows talk to the Acutes for fifty minutes about what they did when they were little boys. The Big Nurse is suspicious of the crew-cut look of these residents, and that fifty minutes they are on the ward is a tough time for her. While they are around, the machinery goes to fumbling and she’s scowling and making notes to check the records of these boys for old traffic violations and the like. . . .Nine-fifty the machinery hums up smooth again.” (Page 36) Analysis:
This quote shows that Nurse Ratched needs complete control over everything in the ward at all times. When the men with the leather elbows come in to talk to the Acutes, she feels vulnerable because she can’t control these people and the questions they might ask the Acutes. She doesn’t know how to shift her attention to other aspects of the ward unless she is completely in control of everything possible. Nurse Ratched is out of control when Chief hears the machinery “fumbling” and being inconsistent which blatantly shows her anxiety about these men. What this quotes also shows is that Nurse Ratched doesn’t just sit helplessly for these fifty minutes without control; she has to do something to make sure that she can get these men “in trouble” and off of the ward. She was looking for anything at all, even “old traffic violations” that could possibly put her back in control. Quote:
"The ward is a factory for the Combine. It's for fixing up mistakes made in the neighborhoods and in the schools and in the churches, the hospital is. When a completed goes back out into society, all fixed up good as new, better than new sometimes, it brings joy to the Big Nurse's heart; something that came in all twisted different is now a functioning, adjusted component, a credit to the whole outfit and...
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