One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Topics: Psychology, Psychiatry, Mental disorder Pages: 5 (1457 words) Published: September 13, 2010
An Amazing Film

After watching the stunning 1975 film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, I realized that this film has a meaningful message of individualism. Psychologist B.F. Skinner believed, that psychology should observed behaviors that could be measured and verified (Hockenbury and Hockenbury 8). Skinner also argued that behavior is a simply influenced by the environment (P. 19). I do believe that from the 1970’s until the present day this film has influenced many people and societies. It has made people realize the importance of understanding human behavior and its mental processes. For many decades psychologists have been studying the human brain and human behavior and for some of them the performance of a lobotomy was in past years a solution to mental illness problems. However, lobotomies are still being performed at many mental institutions throughout the country, and I personally believe that this is a crucial way to treat patients with mental illness. As an example, in the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, doctors performed a lobotomy on Randall Patrick McMurphy in order to solve his behavior problem, but it only changed his life in a negative way, making him a vegetable. Psychologists should have tried a different procedure before even proceeding with such a practice. Maybe they should have considered the practice of Psychoanalysis to understand the causes of McMurphy’ behavior. Sad but true, it was too late for McMurphy to get himself out of this mess and he did not have the opportunity to try any other program that might would have helped him.

Randall Patrick McMurphy, played by Jack Nicholson was forced to choose an alternative place facility for medical testing after having been convicted of recidivist criminal, statutory rape, and assault. He appears to be an insane patient but obviously he was only faking, and with this kind of behavior he makes me realize that he might need help. He obviously thought that everyone in the mental facility was a joke for him, and that he could fool them all by making them think he was insane.

It seems that McMurphy has had an attitude problem for years, especially when it comes to people that has authority over him. A good example of his behavior was his arrogant attitude towards Dr. Spivey, the main psychologist doctor of the ward and nurse Mildred Ratched, the main nurse of the facility, because they both weren’t convinced of his mental problem. With this particular behavior I can relate McMurphy’s attitude with one of the branches of psychology, such as is the school of Psychoanalysis. According to Sigmund Freud, he developed an intriguing theory of personality based on uncovering causes if behavior that were unconscious, or hidden from the person’s conscious awareness Fred’s school of psychology called psychoanalysis, emphasized and determining behavior and personality that people like McMurphy can be related to. It also seemed that personal control could be a part of McMurphy’s mental disorder. McMurphy had no personal control over stressful situations and this could explain a lot of his behavior. McMurphy was sent out to a mental hospital, instead of a different facility such as prison, but on the other hand he also seems to express positive emotions, self-confidence, and feeling of self-efficacy, in which makes him having a sense personal control as well. According to the textbook Discovering Psychology, the perception of personal control in a stressful situation must be realistic to be adaptive (P. 488).

McMurphy was a manic free spirit that encourages better self-steam for mostly voluntary inmates, by trying proving a point to them, that “in life is always better to try doing something than just listening to someone else to tell you what to do in life”. McMurphy seemed to have a good relationship with his inmates, with women from the outside, and always looked like he was in a good mood, but this behavior was also a part...

Cited: Hockenbury, Don., and Sandra Hockenbury. Discovering Psychology. 4th ed. New York: NY,
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Dir. Milos Forman. Perf. Jack Nicholson and Louise
Fletcher. United Artist, Nov. 19, 1975.
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