Cynthia K. Nessmith
Professor Shawana Stanford
American Literature 2130
14 April 2013
Film adaptation of the American novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest novel was written by Ken Kesey in 1962. The film adaptation version was directed by Czech Milos Forman in 1975. My goal in this paper is not only to compare the film adaptation to the Novel but to also explain what I think the symbols represent, critic’s analysis, themes presented in this film, and the significance of the Novel.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest film’s setting begins with a police car driving down the road to people sleeping in bunk beds, ending with a glimpse of a drawing taped to the ...view middle of the document...
) Martini played by Danny DeVito smiles constantly thinking everything is comical and is one patient who really likes McMurphy from the beginning. Taber played by Christopher Loyd is an outspoken sometimes angry patient. The character Harding especially gets on his nerves causing him to challenge and even make fun of him. Dr. Spivey played by Dean R. Brooks is a mature man who doubts there is anything wrong with McMurphy other than trickery & belligerence. Candy played by Marya Small is McMurphy’s girlfriend who befriends Billy and shares in his first sexual experience at the end of the film. Orderly Turkle played by Scatman Crothers is the night time attendant who takes a bribe of $20, liquor, and time with Candy’s friend Rose allowing the women to enter the facility. The criminal McMurphy has gotten himself transferred from prison to a mental ward in order to escape work detail by acting mentally unstable. Once he arrives there he immediately begins to witness the sadness, cruelty, and abuse. Nurse Ratched is the head facilitator of the patients. She quickly becomes McMurphy’s target to challenge rebelliously, ultimately making her his enemy. The patient’s band together with McMurphy in attempts to make a stand against their mistreatment.
One of the most important themes of the film is how blind obedience can threaten freedom which is represented in the patients conforming to Nurse Ratched’s rule of the hospital. She changes the rules to suit her as is evident in the scene where McMurphy wins Chief Bromdons vote for watching the World Series. “Under her totalitarian control, McMurphy cannot even be sure what the rules are, for she rigs them to achieve the results she wants” (according to SparkNotes Editors). After McMurphy gets the majority vote to watch the ball game, she tells him that the meeting was adjourned and Chiefs vote does not count but that they can try again next counseling session.”Her coolness, deliberateness, and inflexible stance of professionalism are destructive…” (according to Safer, Elaine B.).
One of the symbols in this film is the sexual playing cards with naked women pictures. The cards point to McMurphy’s total disregard for authority. He interrupts the patient’s playing cards by flashing one of them at Martini leading him away from the game he was playing. In the first counseling session with Nurse Ratched he snaps and shuffles the cards while she is speaking. McMurphy also makes a mockery of Dr. Spivey in his evaluation by flashing one of the nude women at him as the session concludes. “McMurphy is described as belligerent, lazy, and resentful toward work; he is vulgar and sexually preoccupied, and he enjoys making people uncomfortable” (according to Boschini, DJ, and NL Keltner.).
The significance of the novel ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ is Chiefs transformation from being shut down and invisible to again feeling worthy and proud due to the friendship developed with McMurphy. “The great value of...