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Critical Approaches to Lit Mr Thornley Matt Tyree May 20 2001 Sex in the Ward In One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest there are many amazing themes A motif that plays a very important role in this book is sex A lot of the conflict throughout the book is based on sex I am not talking about the sexual acts that were performed but I will be talking about the conflicts that happen which evolve around sex The main conflict is between Nurse Ratched and R P McMurphy A lot of the conflict between these two characters are based on sex McMurphy represents liberated sexuality You can fist see this on page 44 when Doc Spivey brings McMurphyss statutory rape that he did to a seventeen year-old girl For Nurse Ratched she has repressed sexuality On page 138 you can see this when McMurphy walks by Nurse Ratched and asks her if she would tell him the actual inch-by-inch measurement on them great big ol breasts that she did her best to conceal but never could She walked right on past ignoring him just like she chose to ignore the way nature had tugged her with those outsized badges of femininity just like she was above him and sex and everything else thats weak of the flesh McMurphy first tests Nurse Ratched when he appears with nothing on but a towel and threatening to remove it on page 87 She shrinks to about head-high to where that towel covers him and hes grinning down on her Her own grin is giving way sagging at the edges The reason for this is that McMurphy is confronting her with the sexuality that she is trying so hard to hide After the fishing trip Nurse Ratched wants all of the men who went to get hosed down in the shower She says that everyone must be cleaned so they do not spread any diseases On page 227 Chief
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