Weakening the Combine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Essay

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Weakening the Combine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

When norms of society are unfair and seem set in stone, rebellion is bound to occur, ultimately bringing about change in the community. Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest demonstrates the conflict of individuals who have to survive in an environment where they are pressured to cooperate. The hospital's atmosphere suppresses the patients' individuality through authority figures that mold the patients into their visions of perfection. The ward staff's ability to overpower the patients' free will is not questioned until a man named Randal McMurphy is committed to the mental institute. He rebels against what he perceives as a rigid, dehumanizing, and uncompassionate …show more content…

By carrying out the Combine?s orders and imposing a matriarchal system, the Big Nurse has the ability to systematically dehumanize the patients and suppress their individuality. In Group Meetings, the men are forced to talk about personal experiences, a method Big Nurse claims is therapeutic but is actually very humiliating. Billy Bibbit talks about his first love who his mother disliked. Billy?s relationships with women seem to be the root of his problems. Nurse Ratched worsens the situation by ?grinding (his) nose in (his) mistakes? instead of helping him work through his problems (59). The patients let the nurse manipulate them in fear of the consequences of her wrath, and consequently are shamed, weak, and defenseless men. Even the Chief, the biggest man, has become a person so weakened by his society that he loses his ability to speak against the cruelty that surrounds him, ultimately leaving him powerless. The men are victims of their society and lose all their self confidence and individuality as a result of being pressured to conform.

A man named Randal McMurphy, who defies the rules of everything that resembles the concept of the Combine, enters the hospital and immediately questions the corrupt system. He uses his rebellious spirit to influence the patients? beliefs about the policies, in hopes of gaining enough support to change them. When McMurphy comes and shakes every patient?s hand on the ward, Chief feels a sense of power transferring from

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