The Use of Manipulation; One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

3129 Words Mar 5th, 2013 13 Pages
The Use of Manipulation: One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Throughout Ken Kesey's novel, “One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest,” the use of manipulation is a re-occurring motif. Manipulation is defined as 'shrewd of devious management. Manipulation is put into context by how the character's use it. The first character to master it is the antagonist Nurse Ratchet. She uses it to manipulate patients to manage her mechanically structured ward. The other character is the (antagonist, protagonist?) patient McMurphy. He on the other hand manipulates people to help them grow or gain money. These two characters also go head to head with the power of deceptive manipulation as their weapons.
Nurse Ratchet is the boss of the ward, in which the events of
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If someone hears something interesting about another patient in the log book, the patient puts down what he heard and signs his name, and the next day he gets to sleep in. The effectiveness of the log book is evident here, through this passage,”'Am I to take it that there's not a man among you that has committed some act that he has never admitted?' She reached in the basket for the log book. 'Must we go over the past history?' That triggered something, some acoustic device in the walls, rigged to turn on at just the sound of those words coming from her mouth. The acutes stiffened. Their mouths opened in unison. Her sweeping eyes stopped on the first man along the wall. His mouth worked, 'I robbed a cash register in a service station.' She moved to the next man. 'I tried to take my little sister to bed.' Her eyes clicked to the next man, each one jumped like a shooting gallery target. 'I-one time-wanted to take my brother to bed.' 'I killed my cat when I was six. Oh, god, forgive me, I stoned her to death and said my neighbor did it.'”(45) The reader can clearly see this is one of her methods of manipulation, for she uses it to oppress the patients and keep them down, and 'in need of more help'.
The shock shop and lobotomy are are closely related punishment. The nurse sends patients to the shock shop, if they are being 'bad', or hostile. Upon further acts of 'retaliation', she sends the patient to lobotomy, where a surgery is performed in which a part of the brain is cut