Chapter 18 Notes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Chapter 18

At the group meetings, the patients start complaining about all sorts of things that they had long been quiet about. Some ask for their cigarettes back, but the Big Nurse refuses, stating health reasons. McMurphy is pleased with all the problems he's causing, but puzzled as to why he isn't getting more pressure from the staff to ease off. He finds out the next day, during time in the swimming pool. Bromden hears McMurphy talking to the lifeguard, who tells McMurphy that he, McMurphy, is stuck in the ward till the Big Nurse and the doctor decide he's sane enough to be released back into the world.

Topic Tracking: Power and Control 6

The next day at the group session, Cheswick raises up a fuss about cigarettes again, and McMurphy doesn't back him up. Eventually, Cheswick is pulled away by the aides and brought up to Disturbed. McMurphy stops sticking up for everyone, and they figure out what's going on and accept it. No one blames him for being cagey, because they know it's the only way he has a chance of getting released. Chief Bromden observes that even Cheswick, when he comes back from Disturbed, is understanding. "But just as soon as we got to the pool he said he did wish something mighta been done, though, and dove into the water." Chapter 18, pg. 151 Cheswick jams his fingers into the grate at the bottom of the pool, and drowns himself.

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