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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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on 11 March 2015

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Transcript of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

STAMPS & Allusions
Sensory Details & Figurative Language
Simile:
"standing like one of those moving picture zombies..." p.318
Chief Bromden comparing McMurphy's movements to a zombie before attacking Nurse Ratched
"They both moved like fat cats full of warm milk, lazy in the sun." p.314
Chief Bromden comparing the movements of Billy Bibbit and Candy after they find them in the Seclusion room to cats

Diction, Syntax, & Tone
Characters
Billy Bibbit
Nurse Ratched catches him with Candy, kills himself by slitting his throat
"The poor miserable, misunderstood boy killed himself." p.318
Nurse Ratched's words to McMurphy after Billy kills himself
Nurse Ratched
loses control of ward; gets attacked by McMurphy; retaliates against McMurphy with lobotomy
" She tried to get her ward back into shape, but it was difficult with McMurphy's presence tromping the halls..." p.321
After Nurse Ratched returns from Medical
Point of View
First Person Participant
The narrator is both narrating and participating in the events
Chief Bromden is the narrator
"We couldn't stop him because we were the ones making him do it." p.318
Just before McMurphy attacks Nurse Ratched
"I got a ride with a guy, a Mexican guy.." p.324
Chief Bromden recalling the events after his escape
Setting
The Ward Seclusion Room- where Nurse Ratched fines Billy Bibbit and Candy
"He looked pleased with his success, as if he wasn't even aware of us crowding at the door teasing him and hoorahing him." p.314
When Nurse Ratched fines Billy with Candy in the Seclusion Room
The Ward Dorm- where Chief Bromden kills McMurphy
" I moved to pick up the pillow, and the eyes fastened on the movement and followed me as I stood up and crossed the few feet between the beds." p.322
When Chief Bromden decides to kill McMurphy
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Characters
McMurphy
sacrifices his life for the other patients by attacking Nurse Ratched, becomes vegetable after lobotomy
"... only did he show any sign that he might be anything other than a sane,willful, dogged man performing a hard duty that finally just had to be done." p.319
McMurphy's attack on Nurse Ratched
Chief Bromden
kills McMurphy by suffocating him; regains independence and escapes the ward
" I remember I was taking huge strides as I ran, seeming to step and float a long ways before my foot struck the earth. I felt like I was flying. Free." p.324
Chief Bromden escaping the ward after suffocating McMurphy
Plot
"We couldn't stop him because we were the one's making him do it. It wasn't the nurse that was forcing him, it was our need that was making him push himself slowly up from sitting, his big hands driving down on the leather chair arms, pushing him up, rising and standing like one of those ,moving-picture zombies obeying orders beamed at him from forty masters. It was us that had been making him go on for weeks, keeping him standing long after his feet and legs had given out, weeks of making him wink and grin and laugh and go on with his act long after his humor had been parched dry between two electrodes." p.318 Chief's reflection on McMurphy's behavior since being on the ward and currently as he goes to attack Big Nurse
Ken Kesey
Allison Matthews & Sydney Spivey
Diction, Syntax, & Tone
Analysis
The Big Nurse discovers the aftermath of the party and she is furious. She finds Billy and Candy and threatens to tell Billy's mother. Billy has a total meltdown and is taken into a doctor's office moments later to be found with his throat slashed. He has killed himself. The Big Nurse places the blame onto the patients, especially McMurphy. McMurphy snaps and smashes through the glass door attacking the Big Nurse, exposing her and then strangling her. The doctors pry him off, but Big Nurse is to be hospitalized. In the weeks that follow, many ward policies are changed and many of the Acutes leave. Eventually McMurphy is brought back lobotomized, swollen and in a vegetable-like state. In the middle of the night, Chief smothers McMurphy and escapes by lifting the panel. Catching a ride north, he thinks about how he'd like to return to the town he grew up in.
The exposing of Big Nurse's breasts- vulnerability, human
"...it could no longer conceal the fact that she was a woman." p. 320 The men upon Big Nurse's return from hospital, noticing her new uniform

Angel of Mercy- ironic, Big Nurse associated with the symbol who decides life and death
"... quickly, while old Angel of Mercy was in there calling the doctor again to report the atrocities she had uncovered." p. 312 Harding concerned form McMurphy's sake as Big Nurse is livid

Billy's suicide- loss of innocence
"'The poor miserable, misunderstood boy killed himself. He's there now, in the doctor's chair, with his throat cut...'" p. 318 Big Nurse to McMurphy
McMurphy compared to a cornered animal- his dwindling capacity for Big Nurse's oppression now turned into ultimate defeat as he accepts his fate
"A sound of cornered-animal fear and hate and surrender and defiance... when he finally doesn't care anymore about anything, but himself and his dying." p. 319 McMurphy cries out after attacking Big Nurse

McMurphy as Christ-like figure- sacrifice himself for sake of other patients
"We couldn't stop him because we were the ones making him do it. It wasn't the nurse that was forcing him, it was our need... It was us that had been making him go on for weeks..." p. 318 Chief's reflection on McMurphy's behavior since his arrival as he gets up to attack Big Nurse
Metaphor
"... the story of what had taken place was spreading in brush fire of low talk." p.310
Comparison of the spreading of what happened at the ward last night to a brush fire
Imagery
"...screaming when he grabbed for her and ripped her uniform all the way down the front, screaming again when the two nippled circles started from her chest and swelled out..." p.318-319
McMurphy's attack on Nurse Ratched
The passage selected focuses on Chief's realization that he and all the other patients were the driving force behind McMurphy's rebellious tendencies. The grave nature of Chief's stream of consciousness allows for the building of the climatic event to follow, when McMurphy attacks Nurse Ratched. Chief 's reflection alternates between the extent of McMurphy's entire stay at the ward, as well as more specifically on the present situation as McMurphy is tensing, rising from the chair, and bracing to attack. Words such as "us", "our", and "we" followed by the phrases "making him", "forcing him", and "pushing him" emphasize the blame Chief himself, as well as the other patients, takes for the pressure that has been put on McMurphy to reform the ward.
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