One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


Part 2

The men, still sitting in front of the blank TV, sneak glances at Nurse Ratched through the glass window of the nurse’s station. Chief reflects that now she knows what it feels like to be watched when you wish everyone would just leave you alone. He notices that the fog has completely cleared, and begins to fear the consequences. Chief worries that Ratched is catching on to him about his feigned deafness. When an orderly gestures at Chief to go clean the staff room during the staff meeting, as he usually does, he goes. In the meeting, Ratched brings up the topic of McMurphy’s disruptive influence on the ward. Some of the staff suggest that McMurphy should be sent to the Disturbed ward, but Ratched resists this suggestion. She maintains that McMurphy is not extraordinary and that moving him off of her ward will turn him into a martyr in the eyes of the other men. She prefers to keep him with her, believing that she will ultimately be able to make him submit to her will.

In the following days, Ratched assigns McMurphy the task of cleaning the latrine, and he does a deliberately poor job. She inspects his work with a mirror and finds a dirty note he has placed inside the toilet bowl for her to read. Every day, during the hours of the World Series broadcast, the men continue to sit in front of the blank TV screen and McMurphy entertains them with stories. He remains confident and brash, proud of his ability to rattle Nurse Ratched, and Chief thinks that maybe McMurphy can resist the Combine after all. Chief believes that the fog machine is broken, and he begins to see things differently. One night, he even gets out of bed and walks to the window, noticing that he is feeling the floor beneath his feet and can see the world outside the window for the first time. An orderly discovers him out of bed and ties him back in with his sheets while the evening nurse administers a sleeping medication.

Chief notices that the men are beginning to raise questions about many of the rules on the ward during Group Meetings. They want to know why the dorms are...

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