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The popular movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a unique and interesting story, fit for analysis of the various conflicts present in it. The film focuses on the bitterness between R. P. McMurphy, a convict sent for evaluation to a psychiatric hospital, and the hospital’s head nurse, Mildred Ratched. By sighting the various conflicts in the movie, analysis of the major conflicts and how they were managed are described below. The conflict between Harding and Taber during a daily discussion was very much a heated verbal conflict.
As Harding explains his life problems to Ratched, Taber intervenes and disturbs the discussion. Both of them lose their temper and the discussion becomes chaos.
Level-Emotional (Harding talks and gets too personal about his wife) and Behavioural Causes-Communication Gap, lack of patience and emotions While playing poker, due to Martini’s lack of knowledge, McMurphy loses his temper and starts shouting as the background music disturbed him and was not able to hear clearly while playing the game.
Frustrated, he enters the nurse’s office and tries to switch off the disc player. But Ratched disagrees and solves the conflict peacefully. Behavioral Intra group and Interpersonal Causes-Communication Gap, Opinion based on loud background music
In another daily discussion, McMurphy brings up the topic of World Series Baseball game. Even after getting majority patients in his favour, Ratched refuses his request. Thus, McMurphy resorts to faking the Baseball commentary and shouts with all his friends, thus purposely tormenting the Nurse. In another discussion, Scanlon brings up his issue of why dorms are closed in the morning.
Cheswick also interrupts and brings up his issue of rationalized cigarettes. Cheswick gets into an argument with Ratched and almost loses his temper but McMurphy tries to calm him down. Eventually McMurphy enters into a physical fight with Washington, Chief also joining the fight. Communication Gap, Cheswick’s lack of ability to portray his emotions
McMurphy also gets angry when he gets to know that most of his fellow patients were a part of the camp as volunteers and he is part of committed patients. He also questions their sense of freedom. Lack of identity and sense of freedom When Billy is caught in nurses’ room with Candy, Ratched blackmails him that she will tell his shameful action to his mother. Billy is very much frightened at this and also gets upset. Eventually, he ends up committing suicide. Seeing this, McMurphy tries to choke Ratched to death. Causes-Billy’s decision that night (Identity based). As the movie progresses, the internal conflict of the Chief is realised gradually. He is influenced by McMurphy’s idea of freedom and relates McMurphy with his dad. In the end, Chief gives McMurphy a peaceful death than leaving him to suffer in the asylum. Causes-Emotions and identity-based issues
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