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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey - Barron's Booknotes
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An Acute patient whose fantasies focus on bombs and
violence, Scanlon is one of the few to remain in the hospital
after McMurphy's lobotomy. In the last scene he warns the
Chief of the need to escape, and reminds him that McMurphy
has shown him how that escape might be made.


An epileptic terrified his antiseizure medicine will make him
prematurely old, Sefelt gives his doses to his friend
Fredrickson. The damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't
plight of the two men forces McMurphy to rethink his own


A nickname for the electro-shock therapy room.


Called Big George for his size, and Rub-a-dub George for his
obsession with cleanliness, this ex-fisherman is, like the Chief
and Harding, transformed by McMurphy's courage. He pilots
the fishing boat expertly after McMurphy convinces him to
join the trip; later, in the shower, when the aides abuse him,
McMurphy comes to his rescue, starting a fight that sends
McMurphy and the Chief to the Shock Shop.


Chosen by the Nurse for his timidity (and, it's hinted, for a
morphine habit that makes him vulnerable to blackmail), Dr.
Spivey is concerned more for his theories and papers than for
the welfare of his patients. He begins in the novel completely
under the Nurse's control. However, McMurphy infuses him
with courage and at the book's end he stands up to the Nurse
and to the hospital, refusing to resign.


A prostitute from Portland, Candy is one of the few fully
sympathetic female characters in the book. Young and, despite
her profession, innocent, she accompanies McMurphy on the
fishing trip and later returns to the ward so that Billy may lose
his virginity to her-a date that results in Billy's death and in
McMurphy's final battle with the Nurse.


Like McMurphy, Mr. Taber was a disruptive influence in
Nurse Ratched's ward. She defeats him by forcing him to
undergo a lobotomy that reduces him to a productive but
characterless member of society-in the Chief's view, just
another cog in the Combine.


The Chief's father, a Columbia Indian Chief whose name
means The-Pine-That-Stands-Tallest-on-the-Mountain. An
enormous man able to defeat his enemies by laughing at them
(as McMurphy does), Chief Bromden's father was weakened
by his wife and by the Combine: his wife forced him to take
her white name and sell off his tribal village to the government
for a hydroelectric dam; the government (the Combine, in the
Chief's view) built the dam that destroyed the village and
reduced the Chief's father to an alcoholic charity case. His fate
is one of the prime causes of Chief Bromden's illness.


A night aide friendlier than his daytime counterparts, Turkle's
main vice is drinking. Bribed with liquor, he allows the patients
to stage the wild party that forms the book's climax.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey - Barron's Booknotes

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