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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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The first part of the movie is the set-up. You get to find out what the movie is about, and the main characters get introduced. The conflict between Nurse Ratched and McMurphy is already getting clear, and the tension between them is rising. You get all the information you need to understand the movie.

The set-up ends with the inciting moment. The inciting moment in One flew over the cuckoo's nest is the scene where McMurphy and the other patients play a basketball game. During this scene it is becomes clear that the rebellious actions of McMurphy have an affect of the other patients as well, because The Chief is listening to him. You can see Nurse Ratched looking down on them from her window, probably thinking about the affect that new patient McMurphy is going to have on the other patients and life in the institution in general.

The inciting moment is the start of the rising action stage. The rising action takes the conflict even further. The story is developing, and so are the characters. In this movie, it means that McMurphy is showing his rebellious side more and more. The conflict between him and Nurse Ratched is getting clearer as well/

The turning point of the movie is when McMurphy receives shock therapy. The viewer thinks that the Nurse Ratched has "won", that the "system" proved to be stronger than McMurphy. The other patients don't know what has happened to him, they think he has either escaped or is being held in another ward. The movie seems to go to an end.

Then there is the climax of the movie. The Chief goes to talk to McMurphy when he's brought onto the ward again, and finds out he has had a frontal lobotomy, and that he is no longer the rebellious man he once knew. He then suffocates him with his pillow, because he realises that McMurphy wouldn't want to live like this. The Chief then lifts up the wash station, throws it through the window and escapes. This is the climax, because it shows that McMurphy has actually achieved what he wanted to achieve: show at least one other person on the ward that he's got his life in his own hands, that anyone is capable of making his own choices. The system should not be allowed to control your life; you should take control into your own hands. McMurphy is dead, but it wasn't for nothing. His spirit lives on in the Chief.

There is one very obvious conflict structure in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. This conflict structure is present during the whole movie, and it is really important for the whole story.

Protagonist: Randall Patrick McMurphy

Antagonist: Nurse Ratched

Tritagonist: The Chief

The conflict between Nurse Ratched and McMurphy is also a conflict between Freedom vs. Captiveness / control. Nurse Ratched, being a total control freak, can't stand McMurphy's rebellious behaviour. Where the nurse wants to do everything according to rules, and keep everything structured, McMurphy is always looking for ways to break the rules and live by spontaneous actions. Nurse Ratched does truly believe that the way she treats the patients on the ward is the right way, and that it helps them. McMurphy however, believes differently. His opinion is that being rebellious and not just following the rules like robots will help the other patients to find their true selves back. He believes that the structure and dependency keeps them insane, and throughout the whole movie he tries to teach the other patients that their way to getting better is really in their own hands. These two totally different opinions are the basis of a conflict that feeds the whole movie.

Everything in the movie supports this conflict structure. The two characters in the movie are totally different. Nurse Ratched does always stay calm, looking serious. McMurphy is often seen talking loud and chaotic, and he is laughing a lot. Where the nurse is wearing mostly white clothes, McMurphy's clothes are often darker of colour.

The Chief is the tritagonist in the movie. He is the helper of McMurphy. In the beginning of the movie it is not very clear yet. The Chief

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