It is up to Chief Bromden to take McMurphy's story out of the institution and into the world. . That evening, McMurphy flusters the evening nurse while she is administering medication, and ends up in possession of Chief Bromden's evening sedative. When Warren intervenes to grab McMurphy, Chief Bromden joins in, and they end up seriously beating the two aides. They believe that he is no ordinary man and might be dangerous. When Ratched arrives, McMurphy stands in front of her in a towel, claiming that his clothes have been taken.
Randle McMurphy is the protagonist of the novel, and his arrival after a transfer from a Pendleton Work Farm marks the beginning of an unprecedented liberation in the ward. This time, though, he goes too far. McMurphy is larger than life, intelligent, and observant. The story is based on Kesey's own experience as an orderly in an asylum in Menlo Park, California, but it's also the story of any person who has felt suffocated and confined by our rigid rules of conformity. McMurphy sneaks two women, Candy and Rose, into the ward, and bribes the night guard.
McMurphy and Chief Bromden get in a fight with some of the aides after they taunt George Sorenson in the shower after their fishing expedition. The lifeguard was committed to the ward eight years ago. Turkle, the night aide, to sneak Candy into the hospital, and they have a party on the ward. John Spivey in the film. McMurphy quickly puts his charm to effective use among the patients, who find an exciting and offbeat addition to their ward. The sight of the bloodied innocent Billy lying crumpled and lifeless finally pushes McMurphy over the edge.
Nurse Ratched reassumes her control over the ward after McMurphy gives up his struggle against her, knowing that she controls whether or not he leaves. McMurphy learns his sentence may become indefinite and he makes plans to escape, exhorting Chief to throw a cart through a window. So why all the hullabaloo, society? During group therapy, Ratched exhibits a masterful talent for zeroing in on the most vulnerable emotional flashpoint that has driven each man into the hospital and exploits it for the sake of bullying them as a means of establishing dominance. It is the first real laugh that the ward has heard in years. His kind of relative insanity in the ward proves him more likely to be sane in normal society.
She made him feel small and drove him to alcoholism. Bromden, a paranoid schizophrenic, can be viewed as an unreliable narrator. McMurphy is committed involuntarily, so he must remain in the hospital as long as they want. Billy has sex with Candy while McMurphy and the other patients smoke marijuana and drink. Besides, Bromden will end up being in the clichéd situation of being the one survivor able to tell the tale.
McMurphy responds angrily, and starts a fight with Washington. He introduces himself as a gambling fool, saying that he requested to be transferred to the hospital to escape the drudgery of the Pendleton Work Farm. Billy becomes hysterical and commits suicide by cutting his throat. I just want to touch him because he's who he is. When Nurse Ratched blames McMurphy for Billy's death, McMurphy reacts with violence. Ratched screams to one of the boys to get McMurphy some new clothes.
Eventually, he gave the rights to his son , who succeeded in getting the film produced—but the elder Douglas, by then nearly 60, was considered too old for the McMurphy role, which ultimately went to 38-year-old Jack Nicholson. One of the major themes in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is that of conform and control. Whether the sexual subtext is still here or this is simply a matter of pride and power, Nurse Ratched insists to the doctors that McMurphy stay in her department. Some Chronics are patients who arrived at the hospital as Acutes but were mentally crippled by excessive shock treatment or brain surgery, common practices in the hospital. Treatment on the ward is based on the idea of a therapeutic community, and so the Acute patients have a group meeting each day with Nurse Ratched and the attending physician, Dr. Though not actually mentally ill, McMurphy hopes to avoid and serve the rest of his sentence in a relaxed environment. The orderlies place Billy Bibbit in an office to await the doctor, but his shame and fear drive him to commit suicide.
Others on the ward include , the president of the patient's council, and , a thirty-year-old who stutters and appears very young. At the docks, a couple of men yell disparaging comments about Candy and the patients. Cheswick, a man of much talk and little action, drowns in the pool—possibly a suicide—after McMurphy does not support Cheswick when Cheswick takes a stand against Nurse Ratched. Billy is confident in his actions until Nurse Ratched threatens to tell his mother, reducing Billy to hysterical stuttering and pleading with her, eventually blaming Mack and the others for his actions. At the same time, Big Nurse continues to bring in clippings about wrecked ships.
Afterward, McMurphy confronts Harding about the way the inmates defer to Ratched so readily. If there is a movie that should be seen by everyone, this sure is the one. After bribing the night aide, Mr. She discovers Billy and Candy together, the former now free of his stutter, until Ratched threatens to inform his mother about his escapade. Here's an experiment for you, Shmoopers. While Ratched disapproves of the idea, she consents to putting it to a vote.
Ratched arrives in the morning to find the ward in disarray and most of the patients passed out drunk. He goes to the staff room, where Nurse Ratched is holding a meeting. 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. Nurse Ratched seems almost desperately afraid that McMurphy might be normal, pushing her further towards a diagnosis of him as a psychotic. However, her power is broken. Bromden, having recovered the immense strength that he had believed lost during his time in the mental ward, escapes from the hospital by breaking through a window. It can help to open people's eyes.