Feminism in the Cuckoo’s Nest As you sit down on your couch with your feet up either watching or reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest you can get a few different messages. Some people take away that society demands conformity while others have gone on a rampage about how the book is feminist. Marisa Faulk argues very passionately about being feminist and is very extreme about her beliefs. To really understand anyone’s point of view you are going to have to know what a feminist is. Feminism is organized activities on behalf of women’s rights and interests according to Merriem-Websters dictionary.
Feminism is a positive thing for women but when taken to certain extremes can also be a negative thing. Feminism is what changed the voting rights for women and advanced people’s views on woman. It can also be negative because when taken too far instead of being empowering and inspirational it can be too much and not taken seriously. But like in most works of art there will always be something for people to critique. The article by Marcia Faulk talks strongly about how the play depicted women in a controlling and demeaning way. Stalk brings up many good points.
She mentions that he only women who are seen in the book or movie are either “mindless whores, or if a women is not totally mindless, she is a direct threat to male life”. This is true but the same thing can be said about the male roles as well. The only male characters you see in this book are mental patients, who are weak. One male, Billy Bibbet, could not even stand up to his mother even at the age of 30. Nurse Ratched had so much power over these men that she belittled them. If people are going to argue that this book is feminist I would ask them to look at the one character that is in control.
The person who is in control is Nurse Ratched. Everything the men do must go through her until Mcmurphy snaps and shows he has some power as well. The Nurse has so much control over Mcmurphy that she even gets to decide when he is released and therefore is almost given the ultimate power. Ken Kesey writes a classic novel about the conformity of society and the struggle of people to achieve “normality’. His book was not to start debates on whether it is feminist or not, it was to show society what it is becoming.
It may not have had an nspiring ending but maybe one that left the readers feeling optimistic about how the characters would end up. People nowadays are able to take such a simple idea like feminism in The Cuckoos Nest and run with it. Social media makes it so easy to do so, no longer do you have to send essays into papers and wait weeks for people to see it, you can send mass emails and reach people instantaneously. Anyone can find hidden meanings to a book but it does not mean that is what the author was trying to get at.
For all readers know Ken Kesey could Just have written a story about men in a ental hospital, with no meaning behind it. For this woman to make such big accusations about who Kesey is as a person could almost be offensive to some. Marcia Falk says “that Nurse Ratched is a women because Ken Kesey hates and fears women. ” Instead of looking for hidden meanings and something to argue about, what book had an inspiring ending or not, take the friendships formed and use it to benefit their life. Don’t take such a great piece of art and turn it into something negative, use it in a positive way.
In the end, whether Kesey feared women or not you should take that book at face alue and understand that it had a much deeper meaning. Kesey was trying to show what society is becoming and inspire them to change. He made characters that people would discuss and critique but only so he can make his point and prove to them that society is headed in the wrong direction. People tend to over analyze things and get lost in the detail instead of trying to focus on what the author truly meant. When people go to read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken kesey they should take away societies weaknesses and try to fix those aspects in their life.