One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: The Film and the Novel
Here's a nice moment of friendship, right? When Chief Bromden realizes that McMurphy has had a lobotomy, he decides he won't let McMurphy live as a zombie. Randle McMurphy (PJ Sosko) and Chief Bromden (Tim Sampson) in Geoff: What about your actual relationship with your actual father do you. development of human relationships. In Ken One of the men, Chief Bromden, shields himself when a fun-loving con-man named Randle P. McMurphy is.
His description draws on a series of stereotypical male properties: The contrast in size between McMurphy and Billy serves to further establish McMurphy as the alpha male.
By associating McMurphy with sexual arousal, his role as the stereotypical, sex-driven masculine energy of the novel is undeniable. McMurphy, similarly to Nurse Ratched, becomes here a signifier for masculinity.
Q&A: Like Father, Like Son In "Cuckoo's Nest"
He is recognised as an abstraction rather than a person and his individual character is lost. The power of conformity: However, this is not solely due to their submission to tyrannical femininity and hyper masculinity, but also because they submissively follow their institutional roles of employee and inmate.
When Nurse Ratched discusses the potential use of the other day room with Dr. University of California Press,p. Her authentic self is hidden behind the institutional pressure of conforming to her role as an employee. The insanity lies in the standardisation of behaviour and emotion that the impersonal institution obliges her to submit to, depriving her of the possibility to be true to herself.
Of the famous fourteen inches? McMurphy may value individual identity over imposed identity, but he is himself incredibly restricted by conventional masculine expectations. Nor does McMurphy appear to behave himself in a way that corresponds to a true self.
Again, this glimpse of a different McMurphy in the dark, demonstrates how his true self is hidden underneath his efforts to conform to a certain image. Fick likens McMurphy to a modern superhero but makes a distinction: In other words, McMurphy is not able to manoeuvre between his public and private selves: Although to a lesser degree than Nurse Ratched, McMurphy, too, appears to conform to external and thus oppressive pressures placed upon him by his peers.
In doing so, he loses his individuality and consequently risks his own sanity. Patterns of Masculine and Feminine Initiation, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company,p. He both participates in the discourse of madness as a member of the institution, and simultaneously, by pretending to be mute and deaf, avoids active participation in the discourse.
This becomes evident when Bromden begins to explain his memories: This escape implies that Bromden actively revolts and breaks free of institutional control. However, it is possible to establish temporary points of resistance that allow us to negotiate our status within these power relations and, at least provisionally, challenge its binary classifications.
He achieves his individuality, and by extension his sanity, by asserting himself as a decision-maker. It could be interpreted as referring to his physical absence from the Columbian gorge: Bromden has escaped the oppressive forces of the Institution in order to literally go home.
However, the statement could also be interpreted as a mental absence from society. In fact, Chief arguably is the novel's hero who undergoes the most notable changes in the novel. While detailing the events in the mental institution, Chief reveals biographical information of his own life before his institutionalization.
We learn that Chief is a paranoid schizophrenic, a war veteran, and a half-breed Indian whose white mother conspired with the U. In the film, McMurphy is clearly the hero. Chief's delusional episodes of witnessing the inner workings of the Combine and its fog machines are eliminated in the film in favor of scenes written that omnisciently expand on McMurphy's character and his background, as well as expand on his charitable nature.
In addition, Chief eventually becomes fully communicative in the novel while muttering only one phrase — "Juicy Fruit" — in the film. This explains how McMurphy is able to bring Chief along on the fishing excursion in the novel, a detail not explained in the film.
The film also softens McMurphy's more objectionable behavior in the book.
Instead, he becomes more of a roguish con man than an unpredictably fearsome individual prone to bursts of physical violence against others to achieve his ends. Also missing from the film are several key symbolic elements, including McMurphy's poker-hand tattoo that foreshadows his death.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
The tattoo depicts aces and eights, known as the dead-man's hand in accordance to the legend of the poker hand held by Wild Bill Hickock when he was murdered. In the film, McMurphy boasts that he was conned into statutory rape by a teenaged girl who lied about her age. But, uh between you and me, uh, she might have been fifteen, but when you get that little red beaver right up there in front of ya, I don't think it's crazy at all now and I don't think you do either.
No man alive could resist that, and that's why I got into jail to begin with.
Q&A: Like Father, Like Son In "Cuckoo's Nest" . News | OPB
And now they're telling me I'm crazy over here because I don't sit there like a goddamn vegetable. Don't make a bit of sense to me. If that's what's bein' crazy is, then I'm senseless, out of it, gone-down-the-road, wacko.
But no more, no less, that's it. His initial incarceration isn't for statutory rape, it's for being "a guy who fights too much and fucks too much. The film only shows McMurphy winning cigarettes from his comrades. Certain critical scenes from the novel are eliminated in the cinematic version.
Of these, the suicide of Cheswick, is most notable. Cheswick's character was the first individual in the novel to receive invigoration from McMurphy's antics. When McMurphy decides to toe the line — that is, conform to Nurse Ratched's wishes — it is after hearing from the swimming pool lifeguard that the length of their mutual confinements is entirely at the discretion of Nurse Ratched.
It is in the same pool that Cheswick — feeling abandoned and betrayed by McMurphy's subsequent conformist behavior — chooses to drown himself.
One scene not in the film is McMurphy's final con against the Acutes. In the novel, McMurphy manipulates Chief Bromden to lift the control panel after McMurphy takes bets from the Acutes that it can't be done.