Chapter 28 Notes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Chapter 28

When he received shock treatments previously, Bromden was stuck in the fog for at least a week, maybe longer, but this one he manages to pull out of in less than a day. It is the last shock treatment he is given. McMurphy continues to receive them because he refuses to confess what they want him to confess.

"And he'd swell up, aware that every one of those faces on Disturbed had turned toward him and was waiting, and he'd tell the nurse he regretted that he had but one life to give for his country and she could kiss his rosy red ass before he'd give up the goddam ship. Yeh!" Chapter 28, pg. 242

Bromden tries to get him to play along, but McMurphy just turns it into a joke.

Topic Tracking: Humor 8

Bromden is brought back to the ward, and the rest of the men greet him like a hero. They ask him all sorts of questions about what's going on with McMurphy, and when he responds, no one thinks it odd that he's talking now. The Big Nurse sees that McMurphy's legend is growing, and while he's away he's just getting bigger and bigger, so she starts making plans to bring him back down. The men anticipate this, and work out a plan to get McMurphy out of the ward that Saturday, forgetting it's the day that McMurphy has set up for Billy's date with Candy. McMurphy refuses to leave until after that night. He says to consider it his going away party. At the next group meeting, the Big Nurse brings up the idea of lobotomy to McMurphy for the first time, but he just laughs it off.

Topic Tracking: Humor 9

McMurphy bribes the night aide, Mr. Turkle, with the promise of booze and broads, in order to get him to open up a window that night. Candy's late again, but when she shows up, she's got a friend with her, the woman, Sandy, who was supposed to be with her earlier at the boat trip. The group hides from the night supervisor, and proceeds to get royally drunk on the liquor the women brought with them, along with whatever medication Harding can get out of the cabinet. Billy and Candy eventually sneak off for some privacy, and Harding tries to get McMurphy to leave. McMurphy asks why the others don't come with him, but all of them need a little more time. He asks Harding what made them so scared. Harding isn't able to say, exactly, just that they were beat down by the rest of the world for the things they did, and who they were, and that they didn't have the strength to fight back. McMurphy says that he's always had people bugging him, and it's never gotten him down that much. Harding admits that this is true, but that he's figured out who drives strong people like McMurphy to weakness.

"'Yeah? Not that I'm admitting I'm down that road, but what is this something else?'
'It is us.' He swept his hand about him in a soft white circle and repeated, 'Us
.'" Chapter 28, pg. 258

It's five am, and McMurphy decides to get a bit of shut eye before heading out. He says goodbye to Harding and Bromden, then settles into bed. All of them fall asleep and don't wake up till the black aides come on the ward at six-thirty.

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