One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


Part 4

Nurse Ratched tries to breed suspicion against McMurphy by putting everyone’s financial statements up on the bulletin board. They can see that since McMurphy’s arrival, their accounts have all steadily decreased while his has steadily increased. Chief reflects that McMurphy never attempts to conceal his fondness for gambling, even joking openly with the men that he is winning so much off of them that he might be able to retire to Florida when he gets discharged from the hospital. Chief can tell that Ratched’s plan is beginning to work, though, because when McMurphy is not around, they start asking each other suspiciously what his motivations are. They wonder why he has gone to so much trouble to get better magazines, to organize the fishing trip, and to challenge some of the rules that bother them. During one Group Meeting, McMurphy gets a long distance phone call and while he is gone, Ratched carefully points out to the patients how everything McMurphy has done profits him in some way. She warns them not to think of him as a saint or a martyr. Harding later defends McMurphy to the other men by saying he never pretended to be anything but selfishly motivated, and they should just be grateful they got to have some fun. Billy is angry, though, saying that some of the things McMurphy does are purely for other people’s benefit, and Chief wants to believe this, too.

McMurphy tests whether his bodybuilding plan is working on Chief yet by asking him to try moving the control panel in the tub room. Chief is able to move it slightly, and McMurphy is impressed but says to put the control panel back so that no one will know. Then, he wins a bunch of money from the other men by betting that somebody can move the control panel, without revealing that he has already seen Chief do it. After Chief succeeds a second time, he notices that his arms are indeed bigger, and that he is as strong again as he was in high school. He is angry with McMurphy, however, for cheating the other men, and when McMurphy offers him a cut of the money, he refuses. He tells...

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Essays About One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest