Essays /

Notes Essay

Essay preview

Part I
From the beginning of the novel to McMurphy’s bet with the patients Summary
Chief Bromden, a long-term patient in Nurse Ratched’s psychiatric ward, narrates the events of the novel. The book begins as he awakens to a typical day on the ward, feeling paranoid about the illicit nighttime activities of the ward’s three black aides. The aides mock him for being a pushover, even though he is six feet seven inches tall, and they make him sweep the hallways for them, nicknaming him “Chief Broom.” Bromden is half Indian and pretends to be deaf and dumb; as a result, he overhears all the secrets on the ward and is barely noticed by anyone despite his stature.

Nurse Ratched, whom Bromden refers to as “the Big Nurse,” enters the ward with a gust of cold air. Bromden describes Ratched as having “skin like flesh-colored enamel” and lips and fingertips the strange orange color of polished steel. Her one feminine feature is her oversized bosom, which she tries to conceal beneath a starched white uniform. When she gets angry with the aides, Bromden sees her get “big as a tractor.” She orders the aides to shave Bromden, and he begins to scream and hallucinate that he is being surrounded by machine-made fog until he is forcedly medicated. He tells us that his forthcoming story about the hospital might seem “too awful to be the truth.” Bromden regains consciousness in the day room. Here, he tells us that a public relations man sometimes leads tours around the ward, pointing out the cheery atmosphere and claiming that the ward is run without the brutality exercised in previous generations. Today, the ward’s monotony is interrupted when Randle McMurphy, a new patient, arrives. McMurphy’s appearance is preceded by his boisterous, brassy voice and his confident, iron-heeled walk. McMurphy laughs when the patients are stunned silent by his entrance. It is the first real laugh that the ward has heard in years. McMurphy, a large redhead with a devilish grin, swaggers around the ward in his motorcycle cap an...

Read more


1960s absolut abus accept accus act action activ acut admiss afterward agre aid air almost aloud also alway analysi angel angri anoth anyon appear appetit arm around arrest arriv ask assert associ atmospher attempt author aw awaken babi baby-fac ball ball-cutt bancini barbar bare becam becom begin behavior beneath bet beyond bibbit big billi bit black boister book bosom brain brassi breakdown breast broken bromden broom brutal bull bunch call cannot cap castrat categori center challeng charact charg cheeri chicken chief chronic church claim cloth cog cold color combin common complet complex con conceal conceiv concern confid conform conglomer conquer conscious consid constant contrapt control convent council countercultur crazi crippl cruel cruelti cuckoo curabl cure cutter dale danger day daytim deaf declar deep defect defens defiant dehuman demand describ despit detail devilish difficult direct dirti discharg disclosur disconcert discuss disord disturb divid divide-and-conqu docil doctor doll domin drudgeri dumb earn edg educ effemin eight either electroshock elli embarrass emerg emphas enamel encount encourag enemi enjoy enter entranc escap even event eventu everi everyon exampl excess exercis expens explain exuber face fact factori farm fear featur feel feet feign femal feminin fifteen fifteen-year-old file final fingertip first fit fix flaw flesh flesh-color flew flock focus fog foil fool foot forc forthcom frequent full gambl generat get go goos great grin group gust half hallucin hallway hard heal heard heel hell herd hidden hit hospit hostil howev huge humor ici ill illicit imagin immedi impregn inch incrimin inde indian indic individu inform inher inhuman inject insan insid insidi insinu instanc interpret interrupt intimid introduc intuit iron iron-heel jacket joke justifi kept kesey label larg late laugh lead leather lewd lifeless lifelong like lip logbook long long-term look looni lose lover lucid machin machine-mad machinelik machineri made magnet main make man manipul matriarchi maxwel mcmurphi mean mechan medic meet men mental merci mere metaphor might mind misogynist mistak mock modern moment monotoni morn motorcycl move movement much multipl narrat natur neighborhood nervous nest never new next nicknam nighttim normal note notic novel nurs observ obvious often old one oppos oppress orang order other overhear overlook overmed overs paranoia paranoid part parti particip patient peck pendleton peopl person perturb pete physic place point polish possibl power powerless practic preced precis presid pressur pretend previous privi problem procedur product psychiatr psycholog psychosi public pushov question quick rabbit race randl rape ratch read real realiti rebellion recal receiv rectal redhead refer regain regal relat relationship reliabl rememb remind render reopen repair repli repres repress request respond rest result retali retort reveal reward role room routin ruck rule run sane say schedul school scream secret sedat see seem select sent set seven sever sexual shame shave shock shop shower shrink sidestep silent similar simpli sinist six six-foot-eight skin sleep smile social societi sometim spi spivey staff starch stark state statur statutori stay steel steril stori strang strict stun stutter submiss subtl summari surgeri surround survey swagger sweep taber take tall tear techniqu tell temper term therapeut therapi thermomet thirti thirty-one-year-old though three thus tire today tool topic tour tractor train transfer treat treatment tri trigger trigger-quick truth two typic unabl unclear understand underton uniform univers unprepar upon us use veget vicious violenc vital voic walk walker ward warn way weak week well wheeler white whole whose wife will wipe wire within without wolv woman women work work-farm world wound write year