One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest- Book and Movie Comparison Essay

1925 WordsMay 16, 20078 Pages
"The Power of Words" In recent years, it has become popular for many of America's great literary masterpieces to be adapted into film versions. As easy a task as it may sound, there are many problems that can arise from trying to adapt a book into a movie, being that the written word is what makes the novel a literary work of art. Many times, it is hard to express the written word on camera because the words that express so much action and feeling can not always be expressed the same way through pictures and acting. One example of this can be found in the comparison of Ken Kesey's novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and the film version directed in 1975 by Milos Forman. The novel details the time that R.P. McMurphy, a criminal,…show more content…
In the novel, Chief describes Nurse Ratched as having orange lips, orange fingertips, and a perfect-looking face. However, she is heavily endowed in the chest area, and Chief says that one can tell that it makes her bitter to think about it. The novel makes the Nurse seem huge, in describing her physically, and the other inmates refer to her as "Big Nurse". In the film, she is a petite lady that does not have a noticeably large chest in any way. It is hard to imagine the Nurse without her chest, so it makes one wonder why the film does not include this aspect. In the novel, when Nurse Ratched and McMurphy have a physical fight, McMurphy rips the front of her starchy white uniform, exposing her breasts, and her vulnerability. At this point in the novel it seems that McMurphy has won the battle, and it is one of the more symbolic parts of the story. Since her chest does not become a matter of importance in the movie, this part of the novel is not shown, and the reader may be left wondering why, as it certainly adds to the story and to the characters of McMurphy and the Nurse. McMurphy's description is also portrayed differently in the novel than in the film. In the novel, he is described as a huge red-headed criminal with sideburns, tattoos, and a hat on his head and a scar on his nose that he is constantly rubbing. He seems bigger than life in these descriptions, but in the film McMurphy is
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