How does Kesey portray women in One Flew Over the Cuckooâ€™s NPaper Rating: Word Count: 825 Approx Pages: 3
With the exception of the prostitutes, who are portrayed as good, the women in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest are uniformly threatening and terrifying figures. Bromden and McMurphy both tend to describe the suffering of the mental patients as a matter of emasculation or castration at the hands of Nurse Ratched and the hospital supervisor, who is also a woman. The fear of women is one of the novel's most central features. The male characters seem to agree with Harding, who complains, "We are victims of matriarchy here.
In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the author, Ken Kesey has put women into two opposite categories. They are alluded to mostly in a sexual context of either depriving the patients of their manhood or helping them assert it. Women like Nurse Ratched, the Chief's mother, Billy's mother, and Harding's wife are the representatives of the repressive society who cause men to suffer and lose their masculinity. The other category of women are those like Candy, whose purpose is to serve men. Candy's role in the novel is to help Billy reach manhood.
Nurse Ratched is the perfect representative of the repressive society. The Nurse is a large, cold,