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One Who Flew Over Cuckoos Nest Compared To Movie

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One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

The novel One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was written by Ken Kesey and the movie directed by Milos Foreman, both take place in a mental institute and portray different moods and feelings. The novel and book differ greatly due to the fact that there were many different portrayals of the characters. Unlike the author of the book, the producer in the movie was forced to change characters to better fit the story and create a faster plot. Nurse Mildred Ratched is a powerful character in both the movie and book; however her character is depicted very differently. Nurse Ratched's extreme control over the patients is not depicted as strongly in the movie as it is in the book. I feel that her character and role in the story is somewhat lost due to the lack of interpretation in the movie.

Nurse Ratched, who was a former army nurse, is a powerful woman and she knows exactly how to manipulate her patients and staff. In the book she is the most powerful character and keeps tight grip on the hospital by doing whatever it takes to achieve what she wants. She controls her staff mostly consisting of women, and rules over the male staff especially Dr. Spivey, he obeys her every demand and knows very well that he is expendable and can be replaced at anytime. The mental hospital only serves men because of Ms. Ratched's hatred toward men. Nurse Ratched's goal is to destroy and break down even the most masculine man. In the mental hospital her patients call her "Big Nurse" because she oppresses them and belittles them in ways to make them feel inferior and insecure. She makes her patients do group sessions and preys into their personal life as she picks at their imperfections. The men try so hard to make her happy by discussing their darkest secrets as she humiliates them in front of each other for her enjoyment and power trip. Many times she picks at their masculinity putting them down in every way. Two of her patients have felt no other choice and have even committed suicide, one castrating himself and the other by hanging himself. Her personality is programmed like a robot, always on a firm schedule, and by putting up a composed desensitized superficial appearance. Her patients see how she hides behind her dominance and they also see her in a sexual way due to her large breasts. They see her sexual repression in the way that she dominates over men and tries so hard to conceal her breasts and womanly figure with her uniform. At the end of the book, McMurphy one of her patients, rips her shirt open to expose her and humiliate her causing the patients to lose respect for her.

Unlike the book, in the movie Nurse Ratched is not perceived as being in total control of the hospital. It seems as though Doctor Spivey feels as though he has authority over her. This is confirmed in the staff meeting scene when they are deciding patient McMurphy's plan and what to do with him. Dr. Spivey asks her what she thinks and she does not have any ideas. This scene showed immediately her lack of power and less controlling personality. It seemed as though she was polite and clam. In the scene where the patients rebel against doing chores and instead sit in front of the television hoping to watch baseball, she is somewhat angry but doesn't do much to punish the men. This also shows her lack of power with the men. The patients sneak out of the hospital and patient McMurphy steals the hospital bus to go on a fishing trip. When they are returning to shore, Dr. Spivey is waiting with a police officer and Nurse Ratched really holds no part in that scene. She was bothersome, however the movie doesn't show her trying to defeat the men. Another scene is when she finds the patients the day after a night party. She is in shock and very angry and this is when her role as authority is really revealed. She immediately calls for back up and lines the patients up for a head count. When she realizes Billy Bibbt is missing she becomes furious and when she finds him in bed with a woman she threatens him saying that she will tell his mother. He kills himself due to his fear of her telling his mother. This is the scene that really shows how she affected the patient.

The movie and the book tell the same story in a slightly different way but Nurse Ratched was



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