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Misuse Of Powe In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

1833 words - 8 pages

In the cinematic classic, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest expresses the ideal that the inhibitory rights of freedom, sly manipulation, and misuse of power results in an oppressive authoritarian leader that misuses his/her own power in handling people. The setting is placed in between the 1950’s and 1960’s in an insane asylum. The film challenges the view of what exactly determines someone to be “insane” or “sane” the main character sheds light onto the subject by showing how relative sanity can actually be. An exceedingly reckless, yet diligent individual named, Randle McMurphy, stands up to the oppressive leader who is known as Nurse Ratched in a rebellion to her repressive ways to stir ...view middle of the document...

The DSM-IV notes if the individual has five out of the nine symptoms:
1) overstated feel of self-importance 2) Fixation with delusions of boundless success, power, and brilliance 3) Believes the individual is “special” and can only associate with high-class, superior people 4) Has a sense of entitlement 5) Requires too much admiration 6) Lacks empathy 7) Uses others to get the individuals selfish end goals 8) Often envious of people and has a false idea that people are envious of him 9) Displays patronizing attitudes around people. The go-lucky attitude and the impulsive risky behaviors led to the diagnoses of his mental conditions.
Subsequently, the DSM-IV recognizes (NPD) to be diagnosed to a patient if the patient falls under 5 conditions: 1) An overstated feel of self-importance, an example in McMurphy’s case would be when he tells Doctor Spivey that he is a marvel of modern science. This factious and egocentric idea is highlighted when he expects to be deemed as a superior without providing any accomplishments and when he calls all the patients “crazy”. He goes into the asylum living life according to his rules and not the hospitals because he suspects that he should be treated with more rights. 2) Fixation with delusions of boundless success, power, and brilliance. Also, 9) Displays patronizing attitudes around people, this symptom is the hallmark of McMurphy’s presence. An example of this is highlighted in the film where McMurphy gathers the patients and makes a bet with them that he can make Nurse Ratched lose her temper in a week’s time. He feels that he can do what seemingly couldn’t be done that his brilliance was enough to conjure up a scheme to anger the Nurse. More importantly, was the bet he made with the patients that he was going to go downtown and watch the World Series Baseball game. While some of the patients ridiculed him, he proceeded to trying to pick up a heavy sink to break the window to escape. He told one of the patients to move out of the way because the patient was using his oxygen which showed a patronizing attitude. After his failed attempt, he realized he couldn’t lift the sink and decided to walk away. His delusion of success lead him to his failed attempt, McMurphy thinks that he has everything thought through when that turns out to be not the case.
In addition to the previous symptoms, 3) Believes the individual is “special” and can only associate with high-class, superior people. This is exemplified by the group therapy sessions that Nurse Ratched holds; during the sessions when the patients speak about their problems McMurphy remains quiet but observant. He usually doesn’t want to say anything in the group therapy sessions. Although, when he is interviewed by Doctor Spivey he lets his thoughts and feelings out, he views Doctor Spivey as a superior and is relatively calm when with him. He states that he will cooperate with the Doctor one-hundred percent, while he is usually causing commotion under the...

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