(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Themes of One Flew Over the Cuckoo

            Ken Kesey's novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, deals with many intriguing themes. This theme is best depicted through the characters McMurphy and Nurse Ratched.
             The nurse represents women. She has the face of a child's doll, the body of a middle-aged woman, and the mind of a harpy-like crone. Child, Woman, and Crone are the three stages of a woman's life, like the three fates of Greek mythology. She completely dominates all the men in her ward. She doesn't ever subject the nurses, who are all female, to her icy glares or head games; she only uses those on the men. It's not just the committed men she picks on, but the doctors, janitors, and orderlies as well. She always wears severe clothing that doesn't show her form. That would be like admitting she was female, and therefore weak.
             McMurphy represents the ideal man. He's loud, amiable, a little disreputable, and funny. Ken Kesey uses a lot of imagery to reinforce the fact that McMurphy is a true man. McMurphy is always tugging at the tuft of hair sticking out of the collar of his shirt. He has a scar above his nose that adds to his tough looks. He drinks, smokes, sings, gambles, and guffaws. Harding even compares him to a cowboy at one point. He is a man, and so therefore can't admit that a woman is better than him, and that is exactly what nurse Ratched wants him to do. This results in a power struggle that McMurphy can't possibly win. He keeps fighting anyway, and this only further demonstrates that he is a man in the best sense of the word.

Essays Related to Themes of One Flew Over the Cuckoo

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question