- Term Papers and Free Essays

One Flew Over The Cuckoo'S Nest

Essay by   •  November 30, 2010  •  857 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,640 Views

Essay Preview: One Flew Over The Cuckoo'S Nest

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

One flew over the Cuckoo's nest is a feature film that focuses on the issue of democracy being important to society. Democracy is the people's freedom to choice their ruler. In the film Randal Patrick McMurphy also known as McMurphy is a representative of democracy and Mildred Ratched also known as ratchet is a dictator standing in the way of achieving democracy. This theme is evident through the traditional narrative techniques of symbolism and foreshadowing shown through the conventions specific to a feature film of camera techniques, behaviour and costume. The types of power that Randal and Ratched have covey to the viewer the significance of what they symbolise and why.

In the film we see that McMurphy has great charisma or personal power. Nurse ratchet on the other hand has positional power as she is head nurse of the ward. Personal power reflects the value of democracy in society as those with charisma are more likely to succeed as rulers in a democratic society. Dictatorship in societies is all about positional power as the reason that the person is in charge is not through the people but by some other device such as manipulation, force or having positional power already and gaining more. In the film we see that McMurphy has a lot of charisma by the way that even though the others have been in the ward longer they all flock around him and he becomes their leader. The battle between McMurphy and ratchet can be seen as a metaphorical for the cold war in which western democracy fought a political war against dictators such as Idi Amin of Uganda and Fidel Castro of Cuba. This is because the theme of the film would have been conceived in the cold war era i.e. 1962 when the book was published and 1975 when the film was finished.

The opening shot of the lake and mountain symbolises the democracy that is desired by the patients at the institute. The entry of the car foreshadows its occupant's importance in gaining this democracy. The occupant is of coarse McMurphy. The foreshadowing of McMurphy is shown by the camera techniques. The camera starts with a long wide shot to take in all or the surroundings and then zooms in and pans with the car as it travels across the screen. The car seems to get bigger as it travels across the shot. The car getting bigger is a metaphor for McMurphy becoming more and more influential in the ward. This combined with the opening shot of the mountains conveys to the viewers that democracy progressively becomes part of the ward.

Democracy is shown to be obtained by the unification of the patients. Their unification does not happen by chance. We can see their progress to unification through the meetings that they have through out the film. When McMurphy arrives and they have their first meeting with nurse ratchet, the meeting breaks down into chaos with them ganging up on each other. Their second meeting is about voting to see a baseball game. McMurphy, Cheswick and Tabor vote for



Download as:   txt (4.8 Kb)   pdf (73.4 Kb)   docx (10 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 11). One Flew Over The Cuckoo'S Nest. Retrieved 11, 2010, from'S-Nest/15479.html

"One Flew Over The Cuckoo'S Nest" 11 2010. 2010. 11 2010 <'S-Nest/15479.html>.

"One Flew Over The Cuckoo'S Nest.", 11 2010. Web. 11 2010. <'S-Nest/15479.html>.

"One Flew Over The Cuckoo'S Nest." 11, 2010. Accessed 11, 2010.'S-Nest/15479.html.