Nurse Ratched

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In 1788, James Madison once said, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” He realized more than 200 years ago what some governments have forgotten- a government must have a limit of how much control they have on society. In many societies, including The United States, one can infer that the government has an excessant depth of power. Although sometimes for good, it is obvious that the government abuses this power in various situations. Author Ken Kesey sees this and made this a central theme throughout his novel, deliberately including many details that allow the reader…show more content…
Kesey characterizes her as an “Iron-Maiden” as she is not a typical female and has mass control over the ward. With this she loses her feminism (Fisher 227). Ratched is characterized as a harsh, bitter woman and she has no empathy for the patients in the ward. This contributes to Kesey’s theme in that she plays the role of an adversary. Her large bust represents how cruel and uncompassionate she is. They are so monumentally big that they do not even appear as if they should be human (Sassoon). She is portrayed to be so inhuman-like so that Kesey can allow one to correlate this with her barbaric, inhuman-like actions. Ratched is characterized in such ways in order for her to become the antagonist as she succeeds in breaking the men’s minds and hopes (Wallace). Kesey deliberately describes her in this manner in order for one to recognize her as a representation for dominating and controlling leaders of government. Her actions absolutely go hand in hand with leaders of the same…show more content…
Bromden refers to the hospital as a machine (Macky). He introduces the hospital administration, Ratched, and the “black boys” as The Combine because they treat them as if they were a machine, resembling the government. There were numerous instances where Kesey used characterization of The Combine to prove this.“‘Wait just a shake, honey; what are the two capsules in here with my vitamin?’... ‘It’s just medication, Mr. Taber, good for you. Down it goes, now.’ ‘But I mean what kind of medication. Christ, I can see that they’re pills...The two big black boys catch Taber in the latrine… He gets one good kick to the shins,” (Kesey 35-36). Taber simply wanted to know what medicine he was receiving, but since he stepped out of line in Nurse Ratched’s eyes, he suffered an unfair and cruel consequence. This is evident in American culture as well. When protesters of the Civil Rights Movement used nonviolent methods, they were beaten and arrested. The government has a broad history of using their compelling power to enforce unjust punishment upon those who were clearly in the right.“‘The Combine. It worked on him for years. He was big enough to fight it for awhile… It wanted to take the falls… In town they beat him up in the alleys and cut his hair short once. Oh, the Combine’s big; big. He fought it a

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