Chapter 26 Notes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Chapter 26

Because the Big Nurse believes that people will always suspect that someone who is being overly charitable is most likely doing it for selfish reasons, she arranges for the finances of the patients to be known. It is clear that while everyone else is getting poorer, McMurphy is getting richer. The Acutes kid him about this, and he doesn't deny it. But they begin to wonder why he's been bringing about so many reforms lately. She brings it up again at a group session, when McMurphy is conveniently downstairs waiting for a telephone call, and proceeds to patiently explain how McMurphy has managed to make money off each and every one of his philanthropic actions.

Topic Tracking: Power and Control 11

The men get together afterwards to discuss it. Harding tells them they're all taking things too seriously; so what if McMurphy is trying to earn a few bucks? This is his right, and he'd probably be embarrassed if he heard the honorable motives the men were ascribing to him. Billy doesn't agree at first, but when McMurphy asks him for some money to send Candy, for her trip to the hospital that Saturday night, he swings to Harding's point of view.

Chief Bromden still thinks of McMurphy as some sort of storybook hero, but he also starts having doubts. McMurphy delivers as promised, and makes Bromden big again, big enough to lift the control panel. McMurphy cons the men into betting that no one can lift the thing, then has Bromden do it. He offers Bromden five dollars, as a token of appreciation, but Bromden won't take it. Instead, he accuses McMurphy of the thing that all the men now suspect: that he's only helping them and making them feel better in order to make money off them.

Later, all the men who went on the boat trip have to take a special shower, because the Nurse thinks they might have gotten some sort of bug on them. While they're in the shower, the black aides attack George, trying to get him to put on salve. George refuses, because of his neatness obsession and pathological fear of germs. McMurphy steps in to defend him, and he gets in a fight with the aides. Bromden helps throw them off, and the two of them get strapped down and sent up to Disturbed.

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