Randall Patrick MacMurphy’s struggle against institutional authority in the 1975 Academy Award winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest illustrates one man’s rebellion against the repressive and controlling powers of a total institution. MacMurphy is committed to a mental institution after his ejection from a prison work farm due to his belligerent attitude so that he can be evaluated – some at the prison believed him to be crazy. Within the walls of
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the very sane yet very belligerent R. P. MacMurphy the two personalities clash in a chaotic manner. The wrath of the total institution’s dominance is witnessed when Mac’s need for independence and Ratched’s need for absolute control causes them to lock horns in war that Ratched eventually wins at all cost. Billy is pushed to suicide and MacMurphy ordered lobotomized – a fate worse than death for the free of spirit and mind.