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Chapter 25 Notes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Chapter 25

The next morning, Bromden sees his name up on the sign-up sheet, at the bottom. The black aides make fun of him about it, but he ignores them, and walks off when they try to get him to start sweeping. McMurphy gets everyone out of bed. He needs to find one more man for the trip. During breakfast, George, a patient with a neatness fetish, comes over to McMurphy to tell him to use red worms on the trip. McMurphy convinces him to come along with them, and act as Captain of the boat. The women who are to chaperon the trip are late. And by this time everyone's figured out they aren't McMurphy's elderly aunts, but whores. One of them finally shows up, a woman named Candy. Everyone in the ward is amazed at the sight of her Billy Bibbit lets out a long whistle, which makes her blush.

Topic Tracking: Women 7

There's a problem, though, because the other woman isn't coming, and there isn't room for all the men in only one car, and the Big Nurse won't let them go unless there's another chaperon. McMurphy sees how Doctor Spivey is eyeing Candy, and convinces him to come along with them. On the way to the boats, the cars stop at a gas station to get filled up. While they're there, the attendants make some comments about the whole lot of them being dressed in green hospital uniforms. McMurphy starts pretending that they're all exceedingly dangerous lunatics, on leave, and the men play along, telling anyone who will listen.

Topic Tracking: Humor 6

At the boat dock, there's a bit of a problem with the rental, and McMurphy leaves the men to go talk to the head of the marina. While he's gone, some strangers at the dock make lewd sounds at Candy, and none of the men can stand up for her. Eventually, McMurphy comes back out and has everyone pile on board and head out to sea. He gave the owner a false number as a reference, and they need to leave quickly. Out on the sea, McMurphy and Candy go below deck, and George takes over. He drives them out a ways, and then the men take turns fishing. McMurphy and Candy come back on top, and Candy throws a line out. She and Billy have a hard time holding onto the reel, and her shirt comes open. Bromden cuts himself trying to hook a fish.

"While McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top, spreading his laugh out across the water- laughing at the girl, at the guys, at George, at me sucking my bleeding thumb, at the captain back at the pier... and the Big Nurse and all of it. Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb crazy. He knows there's a painful side; he knows my thumb smarts and his girlfriend has a bruised breast and the doctor is losing his glasses, but he won't let the pain blot out the humor no more'n he'll let the humor blot out the pain." Chapter 25, pp. 211-12

Topic Tracking: Humor 7

When the men bring the boat back into the dock, the captain is there with some police, but Dr. Spivey soon sends them away. The loafers on the dock who made remarks at Candy before now compliment the men on the size of the fish they brought back, and how neatly George docked the boat.

Back at the hospital, McMurphy goes immediately to bed. He looked exhausted while all the other men are excited after the trip. Harding explains this by reminding everyone that McMurphy was below deck for a large portion of the trip with Candy, but Bromden wonders about it. On the drive back, they pass by McMurphy's old house, and he tells a story about he lost his virginity to a 9 year-old girl when he was ten.

Topic Tracking: Women 8

Bromden sees his expression in the light of a passing car:

"an expression that was allowed only because he figured it'd be too dark for anybody in the car to see, dreadfully tired and strained and frantic, like there wasn't enough time left for something he had to do...." Chapter 25, pg. 218

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