Gender Problems in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Dissertation

A. L. English A

8/24/07

Reoccurring Gender concerns in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

One of the major themes stated in Ken Kesey's One particular Flew over the Cuckoo's Nesting is male or female role change. Stereotypically speaking males will be hardened authoritarians and women happen to be passive non-aggressors. In One Travelled over the Cuckoo's Nest these roles are inverted, exhibiting the inhumane, chaotic world of a mental institution. Nurse Ratched, Mrs. Bibbit, and Vera Harding, are the 3 main electrical power figures in the novel that demonstrate just how this is completed.

Nurse Ratched is the mind nurse of her ward. Unlike the other mind nurses in the mental clinic Nurse Ratched thrives from the power that the girl holds, and demands control over every aspect of her patients lives. She also is able to control her superiors, just like Dr . Spivey, head from the metal medical center, through shear intimidation. By many people patients, especially by Randle Patrick McMurphy, the protagonist of the story, Nurse Ratched is referred to in blatant sexual terms. This is because of her alternatively large chest, which appear to be out of place upon such a cold woman, which can be a symbol to get the libido that the lady tries to cover. This truth in itself is definitely significant since it compares to how men try to hide feelings. Chief Bromden, a schizophrenic and narrator of the novel brings awareness of this if he says that " A blunder was made somehow in manufacturing, adding those big, womanly chest on what otherwise is a perfect operate, and you can see how bitter she's about it" (Kesey 11). While most girls are confident with their sexuality Nurse Ratched tries to cover her sexuality just as a stereotypical person tries to cover signs of sentiment. This is good example of how gender functions are corrected in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Billy Bibbit, the patient of Doctor Ratched's keep in One Travelled over the Cuckoo's Nest, provides always lived in the darkness his single mother's control. Billy has an uncontrollable problem that triggers...



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