Nurse Ratched’s Psychiatric Ward Is Often Linked to the Chiefs Concept of the Combine Explain

882 Words4 Pages
Throughout the novel “One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest”, the Combine is Chief Bromden’s interpretation of the institution and the society surrounding the ward. Author Ken Kesey portrays Chief as another ‘cog in the machine’ as Nurse Ratched purposes to oppress and tyrannise the patients throughout the ward to maintain a conforming society. The novel is portrayed through the at times unreliable and unjustified eyes of Chief Bromden. Kesey’s ideologies of the manipulating and mechanistic ways of the Combine are directly linked with Chief Bromden and his viewpoint. Chief Bromden’s perceives the Combine as an all-powerful, spying and secretive commune that watches and controls everything around the ward and identifies the Big Nurse as the head of the Combine. “She’ll go on winning, just like the combine, because she has all the power of the Combine behind her”. Bromden observes the Combine as a machine that seeks to harshly repair the mentally damaged, inoculating fear into the patients and eliminating any form of anti-establishment. This relates to the “Red Scare” during the 1950’s and the ‘domino theory’ put into America’s idea of communism. It was feared that communism would grow so large and overpowering that if anyone were to challenge the system, they would be punished, which is displayed in “One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest” by McMurphy’s demise. Kesey and Chief’s view of the Combine are very similar as Kesey was rebellious towards the at time President Eisenhower’s 1950’s conforming and corporate system, this being an proficient, organised and compliant society, which is very similar to the Big Nurse’s ward. Nurse Ratched’s matriarchal ran system has the power to emasculate the patients, by figuratively castrating them and stealing their power. Chief experiences his own downfall of his and other patient’s dignity, until McMurphy arrives and distorts and
Open Document