It is Not Always the Patients Essay

In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey, Nurse Ratched is a psychopath. This is shown through her lack of empathy or remorse while allowing the aides to be cruel to the patients, her attempts at intimidation and her ways of not settling for anything less than what she wants. First, Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because she shows no signs of empathy or remorse towards the patients. During the novel, Nurse Ratched allows the aides to get away with anything they please.

One example of this happening is when the narrator portrays what has happened to the past patient, Mr. Taber: “The nurse comes down the hall, smearing Vaseline on a long needle, then pulls the door shut so they’re out of sight for a second, then comes right back out, wiping the needle on a shred of Taber’s pants” (Kesey, 36). Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because not only did she allow the aides to sexually assault Mr. Taber, but helped them to do it by sedating him. Therefore, meaning that he had no chance of fighting back, or stopping what was happening to him.

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This shows that Nurse Ratched has no problem with the horrible acts that the aides were committing and was even willing to help them. Next, Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because of her attempts to be intimidating. Shortly after McMurphy was admitted into the ward, even though the nurse knew his name she continually spoke it incorrectly. This is revealed during a conversation between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched during the story: “’Perhaps doctor, you should advise Mr. McMurry on the protocol of these group meetings. ‘Ma’am’, McMurphy says, ‘Have I told you about my uncle Hallahan and the woman who used to screw up his name? ‘ ‘I beg your pardon, Mack-Murphy’” (Kesey, 47). Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because she clearly knew how to say McMurphy’s actual name. The only reason she continually spoke it incorrectly was to attempt to invoke intimidation on McMurphy, by making it seem as if he was just a new patient with little importance. Therefore, Nurse Ratched was trying to make herself look more important and intimidating to someone who she was actually supposed to be trying to cure, not scare.

Finally, Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because she will not settle for anything less than what she wants. During one of the group meetings, Nurse Ratched wants the patients to admit crimes, sins that they have committed in the past. The patients do not confess anything because they know it will just make their lives more difficult. This is until Nurse Ratched says, “Must we go over past history” (Kesey, 49). Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because she knew of the patient’s horrible documented history and that nothing could be worse than going over it to them.

By threatening to bring up their past, Nurse Rached knew that the other atrocities that they may have committed but had not been caught for seemed like the easier situation and that they would willingly confess. This is ultimately showing that she knew what she wanted and how to get it and did not care about who may suffer for her to get what she wanted. In conclusion, Nurse Ratched is a psychopath because she expresses no signs of empathy or remorse towards the patients, she attempts to intimidate and she has a way of not settling for anything less than what she wants.

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