The previous “Cuckoo’s Nest” post focused on a decision McMurphy makes. This post shows what happens when McMurphy takes over and Nurse Ratched steps back.
[...] After McMurphy was drawn out of what you might call a short retirement and had announced he was back in the hassle by breaking out her (Nurse Ratched) personal window, he made things on the ward pretty interesting. He took part in every meeting, every discussion-drawling, winking, joking his best to wheedle a skinny laugh out of some Acute who’d been scared to grin since he was twelve.
McMurphy continues to “accidentally” smash newly replaced nurse’s station windows. He starts a basketball team and while playing against the ward’s orderlies, he elbows one of them right in the face. He even begins talk about a fishing trip.
Inspired by the other P.B.Reporters, I wanted to try hand painting this one. It’s different to how I usually go about things and I’m still getting use to it. Also, I realized with all the characters in the book I should make a character map. I should have done this in the beginning but better later then never I guess. Thanks for reading!
Posted by: PMurphy
Book: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (purchase on Amazon)
“That window glass was so spick and span I com-pletely forgot it was there.”
Hi there! My last post dealt with McMurphy’s internal struggle. I think he had to ask himself if he would continue to be himself and the leader of the ward or submit to the institution’s rules and hope to be released one day. Today’s post is sort of an answer to the question.
McMurphy is pushed over the edge when Nurse Ratched takes away the patients privilege to use the tub room as a place for them to play their card games. She says taking away this privilege is in response to their disorderly behavior long ago, when they joined McMurphy in front of the blank television screen. Nurse Ratched looks around the room asking if anybody has a problem with this decision and she returns to the nurse’s station. McMurphy quietly gets up and heads turn. He walks over to the nurse’s station and throws his fist through the glass window. He picks up a pack of cigarettes that are lying on the other side of the shattered window and looks at Nurse Ratched who is terrified and brushing glass off her shoulders…
“I’m sure sorry, ma’am,” he said. “Gawd but I am. That window glass was so spick and span I com-pletely forgot it was there.”
It took just a couple of seconds. He turned and left her sitting there with her face shifting and jerking and walked back across the day room to his chair, lighting up a cigarette.
Sorry I couldn’t provide a more elaborate drawing for today but I wanted to post something since I missed last month’s post. Mucho thanks for reading!
Hello! I chose to draw McMurphy deep in thought for this post because of a specific turning point in the book. McMurphy is shocked to learn that most of the Acutes in the hospital are not committed like himself. He freaks out, “Are you bullshitting me?[...] Are you guys bullshitting me!”
McMurphy doesn’t understand why they would stay in the hospital. Billy Bibbit breaks down trying to explain to him why…
“You think I wuh-wuh-wuh-want to stay in here? You think I wouldn’t like a con-con-vertible and a guh-guh-girl friend? But did you ever have people l-l-laughing at you?[...] Oh-oh, you -you t-talk like we stayed in here because we liked it! Oh-it’s n-no use…”
I think at this point McMurphy has to decide whether or not being the leader of the ward is worth him risking a release date from the hospital or a trip to the shock shop (electroshock therapy). Next month’s post will be the answer to that question.
For this post I wanted to take a break from the usual loud colors I’ve been using for these drawings. I hope you like the drawing! Thanks for reading!
“I hate Mrs. Harding, Mack; why don’t you call me Vera?”
The drawing above is based on a very short scene from the book. Dale Harding’s wife, Vera, visits the ward. While the patients are spending some time in the hospital’s library, all heads turn as Vera enters the room and blows a kiss to one of the orderlies. Harding invites McMurphy over to meet her. As Harding tells his wife about McMurphy, he gets very excited, starts to flail his hands around in a very flamboyant way. Vera and McMurphy are watching his hands when he quickly realizes what he is doing and quickly hides them between his legs. Vera asks for a cigarette and when Harding doesn’t have one to give, she begins to belittle him. She comments, “Oh Dale, you never do have enough, do you?”
She eventually gets one from McMurphy and continues to insinuate how Dale is a homosexual. She leaves and Harding asks McMurphy for an analysis of his wife. McMurphy, fed up with how Vera treated Harding, flips out and demands for everyone to leave him alone. He yells, “I’ve got worries of my own without getting hooked with yours [...] Alla you! Quit bugging me, goddammit!“
He later apologizes for yelling at everyone and explains that he’s having a bad week.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy!
click image to enlarge:
The image above depicts an incident that takes place shortly after Cheswick’s suicide. An epileptic patient, Sefelt, has a seizure while in line for lunch. As the orderlies assist him, Nurse Ratched stands close by with her arms crossed. Chief Bromden describes, “Her face is smiling, pitying, patient, and disgusted all at once – a trained expression”.
When McMurphy asks what’s wrong, Nurse Ratched begins to tell him that this is what happens if patients don’t follow medical advice. Fully implying that McMurphy’s behavior has negatively influenced the patients on the ward.
With McMurphy in line is Fredrickson, another epileptic patient. Sefelt has been giving Fredrickson his medication. He is tired of the side effects of the Dilantin and will risk an attack. Fredrickson is just the opposite.
As the attack subsides, the taped stick used to prevent Sefelt from grinding his teeth is pulled out of his mouth and a couple of his teeth go with it. McMurphy is perplexed by why someone would give up their medication and risk an attack like this. Then Fredrickson shows McMurphy his rotting gums ( a side-effect of the medicine ) and says, “Hell of a life. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
“I want something done! Hear me?”
After collectively rebelling against Nurse Ratched’s ward policy, Chief Bromden states, “There’s no more fog any place.”
It seems that the men have a renewed sense of confidence and look to McMurphy for guidance. However, it’s not too long until McMurphy steps down from his role as their leader. He decides to back down after talking to the lifeguard at the swimming pool. They were discussing the difference between being committed in the hospital and jail. The lifeguard tells McMurphy, “You’re sentenced in a jail, and you got a date ahead of you when you know you’re gonna be turned loose.” This is when he realizes that his actions against Nurse Ratched could possibly keep him in the hospital indefinitely.
That afternoon, the patients are having a meeting with the Big Nurse and the patient, Cheswick, brings up an issue with cigarette policy. He demands for something to be done about the rationing of cigarettes. “I ain’t no little kid to have cigarettes kept from me like cookies!” he says. Cheswick looks towards McMurphy for approval and leadership but McMurphy turns the other way. Cheswick begins to flip-out and spends the night in the Disturbed ward.
The next morning, the men are heading toward the pool and Cheswick is there. He stops and tells McMurphy that he understands why he didn’t stand up for him. He proceeds to dive into the water and intentionally drowns himself by getting his fingers stuck in the grate at the bottom of the pool.
“Mr. McMurphy, I’m warning you!”
Since my last post, the fog has been getting thicker. One floor above, in the disturbed ward, a patient has castrated himself and has died. Tired of group therapy and the monotony of the ward, McMurphy is still determined to beat Nurse Ratched at her game. His latest attempt is to break routine by watching the World Series game. Nurse Ratched allows the ward to vote on the matter, fully knowing the patients are so deep in her routine, McMurphy will not get enough votes to win. McMurphy dashes around the ward trying to get votes. He gets twenty. However, Nurse Ratched surprises him by saying he needs a majority to change ward policy and there are forty patients. She closes the vote and McMurphy, frustrated, continues to plead for votes. He gets the vote he needs from Chief Bromden. Nurse Ratched tells him the vote was closed but McMurphy turns on the television anyway. She flips a switch turning off the TV but McMurphy still sits there watching the screen as if something was there. Then patients begin to join him. Nurse Ratched is furious by this disobedience and begins yelling at everyone, telling them to follow their scheduled duties. Nobody listens and they continue to watch the blank TV screen. A victory for the McMurphy and the ward.
Thanks for visiting!
“Her face is smooth, calculated, and precision-made, like an expensive baby doll [...] and you can see how bitter she is about it.”
Nurse Ratched would be very disappointed that I wasn’t able to complete my drawing for today. However, I have posted her character drawing that I did a while ago. The quote comes from the first few pages of the book describing her appearance.
Adjacent to that is a part of the sketch for the drawing I will finish this weekend.
See you then!
(click on the images to enlarge)
“I can smell the snow in the wind where it blows down off the peaks.”
Hey! What’s new? Is that thing that happened with that guy all straightened out? Okay, good.
Well, last time, my drawing focused on the tension that is ever present between McMurphy, the patients and Nurse Ratched. Chief Bromden looks on and cannot decide which side he is on. He wants to see someone defeat Nurse Ratched and the Combine. However, every time he has witnessed someone try, they end up in the disturbed ward or become one of the Chronics (the patients that are basically comatose and considered failures of the system).
I decided to show one of the quiet moments when Chief Bromden is day dreaming or getting lost in the “fog”. He is sweeping along and a visiting doctor is talking with some of the resident boys. The doctor stops to point out that the Chief is deaf (which he isn’t, it’s just an act). Chief Bromden says, “He gives me a look like I’m some kind of bug.“ Ignoring the doctor and his subordinates, he walks up to a painting and imagines that he is in the landscape, experiencing the fresh air and calm surroundings.
Hope you enjoy!
Posted by: PMurphy
Book: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (purchase on Amazon)
“Good morning, Miss Rat-shed! How’s things on the outside!”
The image above is my rendition of what has been going on in the ward since McMurphy’s arrival. He has riled up the patients and staff with his loud, outlandish behavior. The patients admire his confidence and the excitement he brings to the ward. Nurse Ratched and her staff keep a watchful eye and try to hinder his influence. As time goes on, McMurphy learns more about the ward’s policies. He makes a bet with the other patients that he can push Nurse Ratched over the edge. The narrator, Chief Bromden, has been on the ward a long time. He knows what ultimately happens to patients that resist Nurse Ratched’s system. Nevertheless, he is hopeful.
Thanks for visiting.