The film tells the story of Mike Murphy (Jack Nicholson), who is committed to a mental hospital because he is sick of the forced labor in prison and pretends to be insane. After the arrival of Mike Murphy, constantly “rocking the ship” to challenge the authority, to nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher ornaments) revered order brought a huge impact.
Advocating freedom and sympathizing with the weak, he developed a plan to help a fellow patient in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, but it ended in the failure of Mike Murphy, who was executed a frontal lobotomy. The director of this film takes suppressing humanity and restricting freedom as the main control idea, and expresses the complexity and duplicity of the living conditions of American society at that time. It is a vision with both positive and negative loads, and it is the most complete and realistic life.
Most people who see this movie will see it as an anti-establishment movie. But it was this “anti-establishment” film that the establishment enjoyed and crowned it.
The truth is that One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is still a myth about the system rather than the anti-system. I will try my best to avoid the tendency of preaching, and start with the characters of Michael Murphy, Ratched, “the patient in the Mental hospital” and the Chief to analyze the way they live under the system, which leads to my thinking: parasitic on the system.
Mike Murphy — rebel. Foucault’s “Madness and Civilization: A History of Mental Illness in the Age of Reason” argues that modern prisons and mental hospitals are the golden language of modern civilized society, integrated with the social machinery of the state.
Before Michael Murphy arrived, mental hospitals had their own set of structural features, in which doctors, nurses, carers, and mental patients kept the system going. Mike Murphy’s arrival tipped the balance.
He led the madmen to impact the system, escape from the lunatic asylum, sailing the boat fishing carnival, gradually released their repressed pursuit of freedom nature. This is one of the most beautiful scenes in the film, and the breath of life and the rhythm of movement almost obscure the audience’s prejudices and definitions of them. His arrival arouses the courage of the madmen who have been imprisoned by themselves to seek freedom and break the chains.
Mike Murphy presents us with the rationality of paternity, the audacity and warmth of paternity, the kind of presentation that allows him to pretend nothing has happened after the brutal “electroshock treatment,” to show madmen that they are fearless of the violence of order, to teach them that freedom comes at a price. Mike Murphy’s escape, which seemed so easy, so easy, was delayed forever because of Billy.
In the last “carnival night” of the film, in order to cure Billy, he sent his lover and Billy to the “bridal chamber” to complete the treatment for Billy. When nurse Ratched discovers what Billy has done the next day, she threatens to tell his mother that Billy dies in a pool of blood under the weight of despair, terrified by the memory of his mother’s majesty. Enraged, Mike Murphy chose revenge. And for him, a creature of the system, to flee and rebel ends in a bloodless slaughter — a prefrontal lobotomy. Muppets, never free to be manipulated.
Nurse Ratched represents system, order, absolute authority. The unbridgeable gap between Mike Murphy and the end of his quest. The mental hospital has an order established by the institution, and Ratched is an isomers of the institution, maintaining a balance between the institution and the desires of the patients.
In the therapy seminar, meaningless issues were discussed, and no one dared to raise their hands and participate in the discussion under their power. When dealing with mental illness, he always smiles, has endless patience and never shows anger.
She is not a healer, but a repressed and devoid of emotion to the human nature of pursuing freedom, and a beneficiary of this alienated institutional order. She has no sympathy for mental patients, dare to dare a challenger to send him to “electroshock treatment room.”
Modern civilization condemns violence. Deception and lies are embellished to become the darling of order. Ratched used deception and lies to refuse to watch the game as long as half the patients voted for it. He refused to turn on the TV after the voting period. He lied to the doctor in an attempt to keep Mike Murphy in a mental institution forever for his own personal gratification.
As a giant parasite of the system, she lived with it. She is parasitic on the great matrix of the system; They also rely on the power granted by the system to satisfy their own desires, parasitic on all the people in the mental hospital, slowly castration, eating them. Using a double-parasitic relationship, she can switch between her role as “evil mother” and that of “patron saint and administrator of the system” at will. Treat the mentally ill as children who can never be “cured”.
As an ordinary woman, she has her own unconscious desire (possessiveness, the infringing nature of maternal love). This is also the cause of the phenomenon of “mama’s boy” in family relations in today’s society.
Other “madmen” – escaping the soundness and reliability of the system outside their cages – are self-imprisoned in mental hospitals. Some of them are not here to escape forced labor in prison. Harding, Will, Skenlon, Billy they were all free to leave. When Mike Murphy learned the truth at the patient panel, he asked them why they kept complaining about the institution but didn’t have the courage to leave. “What are you doing here? You should be out having fun, walking, dating. Do you think you’re crazy?” “And” You’re just like the bastards on the street.” Even after the chief broke the iron cage in the end, he chose to stay in the mental hospital, chose the numbness of life, and chose to accept the weird social relations constructed by the mental hospital.
The chief, the only one to escape. He is not a mental patient who is incompatible with the existing system. He represents a kind of non-American culture, but also the product of the American social system, and is the collision and fusion of different cultures. He had been in an insane asylum and knew that the great is hidden. Pretend to be deaf and dumb in a lunatic asylum and refuse to communicate; When Mike Murphy finally trusted him, he spoke fluent English.
Language, as a narrative mode of civilization, is also a component of civilization. The sheik’s refusal to communicate is a protest against the modern American system by rejecting the linguistic order; And his fluency in English is a concession to the destructive power of a powerful institutional culture. At the end of the film, the chief and the prelobotomized Mike Murphy in the bedchamber action/reaction culminates.
Chief: Mike, they say you escaped the Chief and did what Mike Murphy couldn’t do — he took the sink that Mike Murphy didn’t take and threw it into the cage and escaped from the asylum. The madmen saw him, and cheered, and shouted, and laughed, and raged, and roared for him.
It was Mike Murphy’s death that revealed the end of our quest: to break out of self-bondage. If a slave has free will, he will try to escape. But choosing to be imprisoned is far worse than being enslaved. We got our happy ending, the Chief completing mike Murphy’s unfinished flight over the loony bin.
“We are in the system, we are the creation of the system.” A great work is a living metaphor that says, “This is how life is.” All that scripture has ever given us is not a solution, but a medicine to keep us fresh.
The endings of the four characters represent four different forms of parasitism. The title is the Madman’s Survival Guide, and a guide is a methodology, a tool, a dogmatic “do as I say” doctrine. Obviously I can’t offer the reader a dogmatic approach. Can only help you clear your tracks and stay optimistic. Love life when you know it for what it is.