Chapters 9 - 10 Notes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Chapters 9 - 10

At breakfast that morning, McMurphy tells a joke about how he and Billy picked up some women one time, based on a rumor about the size of Billy's penis. After everyone is finished eating, they have to wait in the cafeteria until 7:30.

Back in the day room, McMurphy asks the Big Nurse if it is possible to turn down the overhead music, and she refuses, on the grounds that some of the older patients will no longer be able to hear it. He asks if they could maybe move into another room to play cards, and she refuses, saying that there is not adequate coverage for two rooms.

Later, Doctor Spivey comes and takes McMurphy into his office for an introductory interview. The two come back to the group therapy session talking and joking up a storm. At the start of the meeting, Dr. Spivey proposes the idea of having a carnival in the ward, run by the men, as suggested by McMurphy. The men are enthusiastic, but the Big Nurse says such an idea needs to be brought up at a staff meeting, which everyone knows is the end of it. Dr. Spivey, once again prompted by McMurphy, brings up McMurphy's suggestion of using another room. When the Nurse raises her previous objection, Spivey argues it away and the proposal is accepted.

When the session begins, before anyone can start picking anyone apart, McMurphy starts talking about a dream he had, which reminds him of an anecdote. Chief Bromden observes:

"I thought for a minute there I saw her whipped. Maybe I did. But I see now that it don't make any difference.... To beat her you don't have to whip her two out of three or three out of five, but every time you meet. As soon as you let down your guard, as soon as you lose once, she's won for good. And eventually we all got to lose. Nobody can help that." Chapter 9, pg. 101

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