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Word Count: 810
At a point in the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest Harding says that the men on the ward as well as all the men in the world are victims of a matriarchy Seeing how the main reference made to women in the novel involves the Big Nurse Nurse Ratched who is represented as a controlling and manipulative woman one could say that Hardings statement could be justified Through Nurse Ratched and her role in the book all women are represented as controlling and manipulative people The Big Nurse depicts Ken Keseys view of women as opportunists Miss Ratched takes advantage of her position to get power she puts her morals and her ethics considering she has morals and ethics on the line by abusing the men that are depending on her to get a higher and more powerful position While reading the novel it is possible to say that Kesey views all women that way The reason the author sets the novel in a mental hospital in an all male ward is because traditionally a woman cannot obtain the kind of power the Big Nurse has in a society mostly controlled by men Because she is a nurse in a mental hospital the men there are unstable vulnerable and weak so she revels in her power over the men especially when she succeeds in making them feel less manly To acquire more power over the men Nurse Ratched constantly attempts to embarrass or belittle the men under her control by referring to their sexuality and making them feel inferior A clear example of this in the novel is during one of the group therapy sessions when Harding says that people stare at his wife who is very pretty everywhere they go the Big Nurse tells him that he gives his wife reason to look elsewhere thus taking a stab at Hardings sexuality and leaving him feeling as little as a man as possible
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