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    Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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    Joshua
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    Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by Joshua on Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:47 am

    Mental illness may not just be limited to mental patients. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the Hospital staff are mentally ill. Nurse Ratched shares similarities to Adolf Hitler in some regards. Both show no empathy for other people. Ratched and Hitler are dictators of their own machines. Ratched is the dictator of the Cuckoo's Nest whereas Hitler is the dictator of Germany. Hitler was against mentally ill people and wanted them eliminated. In a similar fashion, Ratched wanted the same thing. Ratched wanted to control the patients. She did this be not allowing the patients to watch the World Series even when their was a majority vote in favor of the World Series.

    The Hospital staff even raped some of the patients. This is criminal and is the same thing to Nazism. You can compare Goeth from Schindler's List to Nurse Ratched and find that they also have similarities. Both are like Nero. Both are Criminally insane, yet 100 percent in control of their actions. Being Criminally insane does not mean they have to be in a straight jacket or a mental patient.

    You can find more information on the themes from the book at http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/cuckoo/themes.html.

    I believe that their are humane mental hospitals. To me though, mental hospitals should be used a last resort to help a person who is mentally ill.

    What are your people's thoughts on this analysis that I presented? I read part of the book, but have seen the entire movie. Eventually, I will finish the book.

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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by stathmk on Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:43 pm

    It's almost midnight and I'm tired.  I've only heard of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  Is it fiction or not?

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by Joshua on Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:59 pm

    It is fiction. Early mental hospitals were similar to it though in regards to inhumane treatment of mental patients.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by dunkelschwamm on Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:08 pm

    Nurse Ratchet didn't strike me as wanting to eliminate the mentally ill patients- she just wanted to have absolute control over them.  When somebody would act out, she would give them electroshock.  When that proved to be too little to tame a patient (even a patient who is not actually mentally ill) she opts to lobotomize him just so she can reestablish her control.  The book makes it more clear than the movie, but having lost her voice to the strangling attempt renders her unable bark orders as she used to, shattering her dominance over the patients and staff.

    Regardless, very interesting parallels, though I feel that if you go by the most vague characteristics (control freak to dictator, working with mentally ill patients to being a politician who hated the mentally ill) can create a bit too much ease in drawing parallels.  I can easy say that Jack Torrence from The Shining is paralleled with Charles Manson because both heard voices telling them to kill, both lived with their "family" in seclusion, and both spent time writing.  It's just that easy to draw parallels when going off of vague characteristics.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by Joshua on Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:36 am

    Based on the news, Goeth, Nero, Ratched, Hitler, and the murderer who went into the church are all alike. Both wanted control. Ratched technically murdered McMurphy. Lobotomy is murder. She is no different than the psychopath who went into the Christian church and murdered Christians. Even the actress who played her was uncomfortable with the character of Nurse Ratched.

    Almighty God, please bring murderous evil to justice whether it is through the court system or through people using legal self defense. As you know God, I am a pacifist. I personally have problems with defending myself. I am for other people legally defending themselves. Please also help the murderer find salvation in your Son Lord. In Jesus's name, amen.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by dunkelschwamm on Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:03 pm

    I can't say that I agree with you because I find that most of this is overgeneralization.  Lobotomy is a horrible thing, but it can't really be considered murder since it does not end life.  It doesn't even end all brain activity.  It does alter somebody's mental capacities for the worse, but it certainly isn't murder by definition.

    Same with the comparisons being drawn. There are all sorts of people who do horrible things, have horrible points of view that legitimize violence in their own minds, but it doesn't make them all the same kind of person.  People can be different types of bad people- life is more complex than just "Every killer is Hitler and Hitler is every killer".  I thought that the parallel between Nurse Ratchet and Hitler was interesting because both are intent on absolute control and thought reform, but when you start throwing in the church massacre and such as well it starts to seem like you are lumping in everybody who has ever done wrong into the idea of black-and-white evil, which I feel is a great misunderstanding of how the malicious minds work.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by Joshua on Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:12 pm

    I actually see your point now. Ratched and Hitler can be compared. To me Goeth and the massacre murderer can be compared also. Goeth's facial expressions in Schindler's List are similar to this killer. I remember in the movie when Goeth was barbaric to the Jews in the movie with the same evil expression as the killer who went into the church.

    Evil is evil. No matter how it is interpreted. It is still evil. Nurse Ratched was not a murderer in the sense that the Nazis were. Still, Ratched, Hitler, Goeth, and the massacre murderer were still evil. All of their facial expressions represent hatred.

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    He's talking about the Charleston Shootings

    Post by stathmk on Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:26 pm

    Dunkelschwamm, I don't know where you're from.  JPB is talking about yesterday when a white 21 or 22-year-old went into a church Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.  He waited until a 1-hour Bible study was over, murdered 9 blacks and injured 3 blacks.  One of the ones that died was a politician, so I don't know if it was also politically motivated.  Oh, and they caught him today.

    JPB, I think that I'm going to give the silent treatment to you or give shorter responses on non-Wolfenstein topics because I don't know how productive an argument will be.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by dunkelschwamm on Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:04 pm

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Dunkelschwamm, I don't know where you're from.  JPB is talking about yesterday when a white 21 or 22-year-old went into a church Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.  He waited until a 1-hour Bible study was over, murdered 9 blacks and injured 3 blacks.  One of the ones that died was a politician, so I don't know if it was also politically motivated.  Oh, and they caught him today.

    JPB, I think that I'm going to give the silent treatment to you or give shorter responses on non-Wolfenstein topics because I don't know how productive an argument will be.

    I knew what JPB was talking about.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by Joshua on Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:19 pm

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], were we even arguing? I do not think we were. Do you?

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by dunkelschwamm on Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:21 pm

    Not at all, just having a discussion.  I believe that we disagree on a fairly major point (I don't believe evil to be a definite way to categorize every mislead, malicious, mentally ill murderer or tyrant) and we have both presented arguments for our beliefs, but that does not necessarily mean that we are arguing with one another.  It is always important to take in what others have to say, and I do nothing but learn from reading your viewpoints.

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    I'll rent One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

    Post by stathmk on Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:21 pm

    OK, well, the next time that I get a pizza and a movie, I’m going to see if the rental place has One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.  I’d like to see what the big deal is about.  But that doesn’t mean that I’ll remember to post in this thread.
     
    JPB, I had forgotten to mention something.  You mention Hitler or Satan at weird times.  People are going to misinterpret this as a sign of immaturity, saying things for the shock value, or a lot of anxiety.  I don’t remember the psychological term for it, but there were some guys at college who had nothing better to do who compared George W Bush to Hitler or Satan.  Over the years I graduated and then there were some weird guys doing the same thing with Barack Obama.  Some of the people pulled over by the police have some psychological problems.  I thought that I had heard that a woman from Indiana was pulled over by the police and that one of the charges was that she wasn’t wearing a seat belt.  I don’t remember her name.  She was recorded by the news cameraman arguing and comparing the police officers or Indiana lawmakers to Mussolini, but not Hitler.  Maybe that’s not the best example.  You just sound sad when comparing Nurse Ratched or whomever to Hitler or the other Nazis.

    I mentioned that I’m going to type shorter responses.  I almost was going to post again on your Freedom of Speech thread but decided not to because of the amount of time and because I didn’t know how productive it would be for me to type all the reasons I know that Hitler was a kind of Catholic who didn’t believe in The Pope.  I could have mentioned that young English speaking people today have misunderstandings about Hitler’s rise to power because some of the historians translated his life from German to French to English with some misunderstandings.  Hitler’s life was like one of the psychological ink blot tests where different people see what they want to see in it.  You mentioned the History Channel as a source.  I didn’t know how productive it would be for me to type that the History Channel has problems.  The History Channel said that Hitler killed the Pope and there was no autopsy because the Pope was cremated.  This isn’t true about the cremation because when you become Pope one of the first things that you do is decide where you will be buried.  Dark_wizzie said that the particular Freedom of Speech thread is a waste of time (for him, I guess).

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by Joshua on Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:45 pm

    Matt, from sparknotes:

    "Kesey uses mechanical imagery to represent modern society and biological imagery to represent nature. By means of mechanisms and machines, society gains control of and suppresses individuality and natural impulses. The hospital, representative of society at large, is decidedly unnatural: the aides and Nurse Ratched are described as being made of motley machine parts. In Chief Bromden’s dream, when Blastic is disemboweled, rust, not blood, spills out, revealing that the hospital destroyed not only his life but his humanity as well. Bromden’s realization that the hospital treats human beings in an unnatural fashion, and his concomitant growing self-awareness, occur as a surrounding fog dissipates. It is no surprise that Bromden believes this fog is a construction of machines controlled by the hospital and by Nurse Ratched.
    Bromden, as the son of an Indian chief, is a combination of pure, natural individuality and a spirit almost completely subverted by mechanized society. Early on, he had free will, and he can remember and describe going hunting in the woods with his relatives and the way they spear salmon. The government, however, eventually succeeds in paying off the tribe so their fishing area can be converted into a profitable hydroelectric dam. The tribe members are banished into the technological workforce, where they become “hypnotized by routine,” like the “half-life things” that Bromden witnesses coming out of the train while he is on fishing excursions. In the novel’s present time, Bromden himself ends up semi-catatonic and paranoid, a mechanical drone who is still able to think and conjecture to some extent on his own.
    McMurphy represents unbridled individuality and free expression—both intellectual and sexual. One idea presented in this novel is that a man’s virility is equated with a state of nature, and the state of civilized society requires that he be desexualized. But McMurphy battles against letting the oppressive society make him into a machinelike drone, and he manages to maintain his individuality until his ultimate objective—bringing this individuality to the others—is complete. However, when his wildness is provoked one too many times by Nurse Ratched, he ends up being destroyed by modern society’s machines of oppression."


    This is where I got the Nazi and Hitler comparison for Nurse Ratched from.


    Nurse Ratched and Hitler were both oppressors. Both were involved in criminal machines, yet both had differences.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by dunkelschwamm on Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:43 am

    Most of that quote is talking about how the mental institution is representative of the routine nature (or un-nature) of modernized society and civilization.  The enforcement and oppression of forcing humans to conform and become gears in a greater machine, removing their humanity and basic animalism (represented by their libido).  Additional bleakness is layered on when a force of nearly unstoppable humanity, impulsiveness, and individuality is crushed by the enforcer of modern society for stepping out of line.

    In that sense, it's entirely possible that by comparing Nurse Ratchet (who is an allegory for the enforcement of modern social routines) to Hitler, you would be inevitably comparing all of modern society to the Nazi regime, which seems a bit harsh.  I mean, in the first post you compared Hitler wanting to exterminate mentally ill people to Nurse Ratchet refusing to let them watch baseball.  Again, when going off of the vague and general ideas of characters being oppressors or being parts of larger scale schemes (which would flow naturally from being an oppressor in the first place) it is possible to compare anybody to anybody, thereby unintentionally legitimizing much of the crazy speak that stathmk had mentioned in his post (about comparing every United States president ((or in some cases, the Pope)) to Hitler or Mussolini, or comparing any major world power to the Nazis).

    Anyway, many of the comparisons derailed from your original starting topic of criminal insanity.

    One of my favorite philosophical dilemmas was that of free will and determinism.  There's a bit of a false dichotomy that people fall into- either everything in your mind is guided by what is in nature and how your brain processes that, or you have free will.  How would you know?  Many people seem insulted by the idea of their brain simply responding to outside stimuli and computing results based on this, but what is the alternative?  How is that not free will if it is your brain the calculates the outcome?  Is it free will if your brain comes up with something completely outside of the parameters of what is known to you, fed to you from the outside world?

    Of course not.  If your idea of free will is your brain coming up with conclusions and ideas that have absolutely nothing to do with anything then your brain is just a random generator and your mind would be useless- you would be insane.  With that kind of "free will" you could honestly believe from one moment that two plus two equals fish to the next moment believing that two plus two equals Santa Claus.

    Why do I bring all of this up?  Because when it comes down to it, we are all presented with the same reality, but our brains calculate the data in different ways and come to different conclusions based both on how our brains are set up to begin with and what information we've taken in to be true as we develop our problem solving skills.  You mention people who are criminally insane but 100% in control of their actions- how would you even quantify or qualify that?  You could hand-wave it as simply being evil, but that has only become more and more difficult to do over the years as psychological studies have advanced and we've been able to identify the disorders and mental oddities that cause the "evil" in contemporary malefactors.

    People are people and no person is another person.  Over-generalization and attempting to lump groups of people together almost always ends horribly.  Goeth was a horrible person who did horrible things, but I would not him together with Hitler who was a horrible person who did horrible things, who I would not lump together with Stalin who was a horrible person who did horrible things.  They were all horrible people who did horrible things, and some used similar methods or targeted similar people, but they all had different ideologies, different personal vices, different personality types, different ambitions, personal values, and likely different mental illnesses (and in Hitler's case, substance abuse problems).  None of this is meant to create excuses for horrible people, only to show that the world is more complicated than mustachioed villains who want to leave the damsel tied up to the railroad tracks because they are evil.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by Joshua on Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:15 am

    I consulted someone who had a psychology degree on this matter, they agree with me on the comparisons. Matt, do you have a psychology degree? I will admit that I do not. I can see your point of view dunkel. The person also agreed that labotomy was murder.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by dunkelschwamm on Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:35 pm

    I would call an appeal to authority fallacy on the matter of the lobotomy subject considering that whether or not something can be considered death when it doesn't involve ending all functioning of the brain or the death of the tissue in the body is a philosophical matter rather than one based in psychological science.  I'd be interested to hear what your friend's arguments in support of your analysis would be.

    I do a lot of work with psychologists, behavioralists, and therapists in my line of work but my main areas of expertise are in computer science and philosophy.  I can't claim to have a psychology degree either.

    Also to reiterate: your comparisons are mostly technically valid, I just still find that they are too vague to be meaningful in any real way.  Yes, all of the above were obsessed with order and control, but so was Monica on the sitcom Friends.  I can't consider that to be a point worth connecting the characters.

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    Psychology

    Post by stathmk on Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:31 pm

    jpb1991 wrote:I consulted someone who had a psychology degree on this matter, they agree with me on the comparisons. Matt, do you have a psychology degree? I will admit that I do not. I can see your point of view dunkel. The person also agreed that labotomy was murder.
    No, I do not have Psychology degree.  My aunt has a PhD in Psychology, but is retired now.  Her boyfriend of 9 years was also a Psychologist.

    Dunkelschwamm, what country are you in?  I'm in America.  I can remember when G W Bush fought Saddam Hussein that it made more sense to compare Hussein to Hitler, but some college students with nothing better to do with their time compared G W Bush to Osama Bin Laden or Hitler.  You might call it argument ad hominem (Argument to the man), but I think that there's a specific term for when they have a delusion that somebody actually more peaceful is like Hitler.  Nobody thinks that less than 139,000 family members were killed or went missing under Saddam's regime, so I can understand when he's compared to Hitler.  I just don't know enough about nurse Ratched to compare that person to Hitler.  I can say with a straight face that Pol Pot of Cambodia, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, and Ghenghis Khan were as genocidal as Hitler.

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by dunkelschwamm on Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:43 pm

    Oh yeah, absolutely.  When you have tyranny, genocide, strict legalism, despotism, cult of personality propaganda, and the sheer numbers of those dead in common it becomes fairly easy to start comparing people like that because there is a larger collection of shared traits.  Nurse Ratchet is mostly comparable in that she has a position of power over the patients that she will enforce and defend (edit: for clarification, enforce and defend her position of power, not the patients) however she can (as has been mentioned multiple times, it results in one patient in particular getting lobotomized into a stupor).  Other than that, the implications of the book's take on the character are that she clings to this position of authority due to leading an otherwise inadequate life with little to show for it.  I can see the fun in discussing similarities between her and a dictator like Adolf Hitler, but I feel the connection is rather weak and vague and, thus, intellectually and philosophically meaningless.

    I also come from The States: California, born and raised.  Mother is a psychologist, father is a philosophy professor.  Hard to misbehave growing up in a household like that Smile

    Additional edit: since you mentioned the fallacy of comparing everything to Hitler, there is a term manufactured by Leo Strauss that he calls Reductio ad Hitlerum.  It's described as ad hominem and ad misericordiam mixed together (attack of one's character instead of argument, and appeal to pity, respectively).  It is a play on reduction to absurdity (reductio ad absurdum).  The definition of Reductio ad Hitlerum is an argument that often aims to derail intellectual discourse by comparing a banal or often irrelevant trait of a position or argument and bring up that Hitler (or any member of the Nazi party, really) may have -at one point- shared the same view or policy or position or argument.  It sometimes gets as ridiculous as to suggest that because somebody is a fantastic orator who can sway crowds, they are similar to Hitler ("You know who else gained the support of a nation's peoples?  HITLER!")

    In Nurse Ratchet's case, she is somebody who is very organized (like Hitler), enforces her position of power with the help of paid muscle (like Hitler), and ends up dealing a horrible fate to somebody who physically attacked her (as Hitler would).  She also denies patients their wants when they make their wants known if said wants will in any way deviate from what her position of power suggests (like Hitler).  Frankly, all of these things can also be said of the last 8 presidents of The United States.  That is the major issue with such vague parallels- if they can be applied to anybody in a position of power who defends that position of power ruthlessly, then we have a massive list of people we can include in said list and the distinction becomes meaningless.


    Last edited by dunkelschwamm on Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    Post by stathmk on Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:55 pm

    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Oh yeah, absolutely.  When you have tyranny, genocide, strict legalism, despotism, cult of personality propaganda, and the sheer numbers of those dead in common it becomes fairly easy to start comparing people like that because there is a larger collection of shared traits.  Nurse Ratchet is mostly comparable in that she has a position of power over the patients that she will enforce and defend however she can (as has been mentioned multiple times, it results in one patient in particular getting lobotomized into a stupor).  Other than that, the implications of the book's take on the character are that she clings to this position of authority due to leading an otherwise inadequate life with little to show for it.  I can see the fun in discussing similarities between her and a dictator like Adolf Hitler, but I feel the connection is rather weak and vague and, thus, intellectually and philosophically meaningless.

    I also hail from The States: California, born and raised.  Mother is a psychologist, father is a philosophy professor.  Hard to misbehave growing up in a household like that Smile
    Maybe I'm too far off topic this time: Your father is a Philosophy professor?  One of my Physics professors was naked at Woodstock in 1969 and would read a lot of Philosophy.  I can't prove this, but he said in class that Philosopher Wilhelm Frederick Nietche said, "Why can't we all just run around naked?"  For the record, I don't want to see Nietche or my Physics professors naked!

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    Re: Analysis of the Criminal Machine in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Post by dunkelschwamm on Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:09 pm

    My father would not be caught dead running around naked at Woodstock haha!  He's a fan of Nietzsche, but seems to hold David Hume, Wittgenstein, and Socrates in especially high esteem.  I attended my father's classes since I was just a baby on his backpack, and the grasp on logic and reason that those experiences left me with have been a major help in pursuing a career in computer programming.  We've strayed off topic indeed, but it is fun to get away from such a nebulous topic for a moment.

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