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Feminist Critical Approach. By Megan Bailey, Gabby Bess, Morgan Isom, and Tracey Smith. NOVEL: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Feminist Criticism…What is it?. Examine social relationships Context of a work in terms of the patriarchal social forces in the culture I.E.

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feminist critical approach

Feminist Critical Approach

By Megan Bailey, Gabby Bess,

Morgan Isom, and Tracey Smith

NOVEL: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

feminist criticism what is it
Feminist Criticism…What is it?
  • Examine social relationships
  • Context of a work in terms of the patriarchal social forces in the culture
  • I.E.
    • attitudes towards women
    • the pressure on female characters
    • the image of women the work presents
    • The power relationships of institutions which treat men and women differently
nurse ratched s struggle for power by clifford j kurkowski
“Nurse Ratched’s Struggle for power” by Clifford J. Kurkowski

A Feminist Approach To Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

nurse ratched is described as
In the essayNurse Ratched is described as…
  • A strong female character with positive aspects instead of a hard lining dictator who runs an oppressive “machine”
    • History will show that women who procured stature and power in society have always struggled to keep their position, and those who tried to topple these women from their position were always men.
background mentioned
Background mentioned…
  • novel published in 1962, when America was in the midst of a civil uprising with many social movements (WOMEN’S RIGHTS being one of them)
  • Women were struggling to make headway in a male dominated society
  • jobs for women in the workforce were limited: nurse, schoolteacher or waitress.
  • when women in their field of work did rise to power the men watched them closely.
  • Kesey, however, put a woman in charge of a mental asylum’s male ward.
victims of matriarchy
victims of matriarchy?
  • Nurse Ratched’s came to run the ward because a colleague and best friend offered her the position
  • Because of this the men feel as if they are “victims of matriarchy” because they assume that women stick together in decision making.
  • Since Nurse Ratched’s supervisor is also her best friend and a female, there are no males to dominate her thinking.
  • When Nurse Ratched constructed her team, she wanted people who were going to be loyal to her if she ever needed support.
did kesey get his point across
Did Kesey get his point across?
  • He wanted readers to fully comprehend the male perspective of how women were viewed in society during his time
  • He wanted to illustrate that women were beginning to achieve stature and control as they climbed up the proverbial corporate ladder and were making headway in other facets of society
  • For Kesey to get his point across, he used sexist language and over-personified how the male characters in his novel viewed women
how should big nurse be viewed
How Should “Big Nurse” be viewed?
  • She should be viewed as a positive character trait and not a negative one.  
  • Nurse Ratched is battling the males in order to gain respect, keep her control over the ward, and to show readers that a woman must defend and fight in order to succeed
  • Google Images. Web. Nov. 2009. .
  • Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. New York City: Signet, 1962. Print.
  • Kurkowski, Clifford J. "Nurse Ratched’s Struggle for Power: A Feminist Approach To Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." 256 Shades of Grey. Clifford J. Kurkowski, 1 Jan. 2008. Web. Nov. 2009. .
  • The teachings of Mrs. McGee!