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Scott Mills

27th, 2017

Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest


1.According to Google dictionary, pretense is defined as
“an attempt to make something that is not the case appear true”. In
another definition it is described as “a claim, especially falls are in
ambitious one”. Near the beginning of the film, particularly the second
scene when Billy speaks, he is asked by the nurse in the group meeting what he
thinks about Mr. Hardy’s situation with his wife. Billy does not mention or say
anything regarding the situation so this reveals to the audience that he
doesn’t have any thoughts, or enough thoughts to say anything about it. Essentially
he is not going to make up anything false even though he had room to speak in
the meeting. One of the key events of the film that Billy was involved with was
when he slept with McMurphy’s lady friend in one of the rooms on the floor.

Once the nurse find him in the room with this random lady she puts the picture
together of how they slept together. Here, the audience sees Billy’s extreme
remorse and guilt – but not really any direct false accusations. He says that
everyone forced him to do it as well as specifically McMurphy. The audience
here observes Billy looking back-and-forth between the nurse and the rest of
his friends, almost as if he doesn’t want to be accused as a liar as much as he
doesn’t want the nurse to tell his mom. 

2.Chief is a great example of a character that
holds pretense in this film. For the majority of the film, the audience
believes that chief is not able to speak and his hearing is somewhat
questionable. Yes this is because the way Chief portrays himself, but other
characters throughout the film also contribute to his persona. A good example
is when McMurphy attempts to teach chief how to play basketball on the outside
basketball court. Throughout the entire process Chief doesn’t speak at all and
he barely makes any basketball related movements. Additionally, one of the
staff members acted confused and weirded out by McMurphy’s efforts to get Chief
involved. This supports the false case of him not being able to speak, which we
learn later in the film to be ultimately false. 

Also, mcMurphy is a good description of
exhibiting pretense. One of the first scenes he displays this act is when he is
requested to take medication by the nurses assistant. He takes the medicine and
waterfalls water with it abruptly. While walking away from the nurses’ station
to continue playing cards with his new friends, he shows his medication still
in his mouth to Mr. Hardy and then spits it at him. Everyone starts laughing!
Additionally, one of Murphy’s greatest pretense related scene was when he pretended
the major-league baseball game was showing on the TV in the lobby. He rattled
up his friends in the lobby and caused major disruption for the nurse. Because
of the complications of voting conducted between the nurse and McMurphy,
McMurphy decided to play his own pretend game of actually being able to watch
the game in the lobby when the game was not even being streamed on the

The nurse shows and exemplifies pretense.

Initially, Innoway, the nurse comes off as somewhat innocent with her all white
and clean nurse outfit. Over, we begin to realize that she plays a very
manipulative and dehumanizing role when it comes to relationships with her
patients. We realize that the nurse and her assistant are the only women really
in control within this department of the mental institution. Not only does
nurse Ratched have control and authority over the patients on the floor, but
she also gives many orders to the rest of the staff of men throughout the film.

Essentially, we see a significant emasculating role that she holds throughout
the entire film. One of the key examples are shown at almost every group
meeting. She usually can ducks and initiates the meeting by posing a question
or following up on someone on their situation. Near the beginning of the film,
the audience observes her ask Mr. Hardy the situation regarding his wife and it
stirs up confrontation amongst almost amongst the entire group. Moreover, the
nurse makes remarks regarding Billy’s mom in front of Billy as a sign of direct
oppression. This specific target towards Billy is a build up throughout the
film; eventually, it causes himself to hurt him by punching himself and then
ultimately killing him self.

3.If we recall the scene at the group meeting
where Charles Cheswick makes a big deal about his cigarettes during the group
meeting, this results in to a big fight between the staff security and
specifically between McMurphy and Chief. This disruption, argument and fight
lead mcMurphy and chief into the hallway for extreme measures of electrotherapeutic
shock. The audience sees McMurphy take the shock, even though it is
questionable for chief because we don’t actually see him go into shock like we
do with McMurphy. During this point in time, while the two are waiting on a
bench outside in the hallway, mcMurphy offers some gum to chief. Shockingly,
McMurphy hears Chief say, “thank you”. This blows McMurphy’s mind and
leaves him in complete awe for the next minute. As McMurphy begins to stare
back down being questionable, chief looks at the gum again and says “ah
juicy fruit” To clarify, the prop here used is the gum and this blows
McMurphy’s mind away, as well as viewers. This reveals to the audience Chief’s
Grand scheme in pretending to make up this whole image of him not being able to
communicate. Even though the audience is not sure as to why this was the show
he put on, we realize at this point in time. Moreover, Pic Murphy ask chief if
he can hear him and he also nods his head. At that very moment McMurphy
declares that together they will find a way out of this please so they can
leave together in harmony.

4.Upon being familiar with reading the book
version of this movie back in high school and now watching this film in class,
I presume that the setting in time was around the 1950s taking place in a
psychiatric ward in the state of Oregon. Particularly, it takes place in a
smaller department of the whole mental institution and we know this because
there are scenes where the audience sees the hospital from the outside and it
is massive – but the audience only gets to see a smaller group of patients and
staff. Also, at one point of the film the nurse makes a reference to how
they’re only 18 patients on this side of the hospital during the voting.

The people that work in the hospital are
 all wearing all white outfits – this is how the audience deciphers who is
staff versus the patients. At the very beginning of the film, we see that
everyone in the staff greets nurse Ratched, but this is not the case when the
faculty deals with the patients one on one or in group form. Usually the staff
just give orders to the patients for them to be doing something they’re
required to be doing. Also, there are security guards in order to take physical
control of any outrageous behavior. I see the security guards taking control
during a couple group meetings, and towards the end of the movie when
everything is in chaos.

The first scene Billy Bibbit appears in is when
Randal McMurphy walks into the department of the ward and start speaking with
Chief. This affects and leaves McMurphy thinking that he can’t communicate for
the majority of the film.


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