The film "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" is based on the novel by Ken Kesey. McMurphy being brought in handcuffs to a mental institution for a psychiatric evaluation. Mr. McMurphy is coming from the state prison where he is serving a five-year sentence, but has been feigning insanity to get out of the prison work detail. McMurphy tells the hospital director that he does not believe he is crazy, but rather "a god damned marvel of science". Although the hospital director is in agreement, McMurphy ultimately ends up being committed to the mental facility and with this action, Kesey begins McMurphy's journey towards heroism (Seger 319).
While at a first glance one might consider this to be simply a fine entertaining piece of filmmaking, showing us the adventures of a rebellious free spirit in a mental ward, it's story goes much deeper, for we have only scratched the surface. With the film of the story of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", Kesey holds a mirror to our society and the images we see reflected back are of a dark, oppressive and controlling society whose goal is to foster social integration and squelch individuality, creating a compliant society.
With the creation of McMurphy as the hero character Kesey uses the archetypical figure, (Seger, 323) of the trickster. McMurphy completely embodies the trickster throughout the film as the "bad boy" creating chaos, disrupting and disturbing the peace and quiet on the ward. His anarchist behavior is a constant threat to the structure of the asylum.
Mc Murphy's character is irreverent, extroverted and rebellious. Right from the beginning, Mac brings the cathartic sound of laughter, which is conspicuously absent from the dead atmosphere of the ward. It is clearly evident from the moment Mac arrives on the ward he will not act within the expected, strict guidelines. His basic disregard for the authority of Nurse Ratched will be a repeated theme throughout the movie.