Important ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s
Nest’ Quotations:
Chief & his Father
“No. I’m way too little. I used to be big, but not no more. You’re twice the
size of me.”
“The Combine. It worked on him for years. He was big enough to fight it
for a while. It wanted us to live in inspected houses. It wanted to take the
falls. It was even in the tribe, and they worked on him. In the town they
beat him up in the alleys and cut his hair short once. Oh, the Combine’s
big – big. He fought it a long time till my mother made him too little to
fight any more and he gave up.”
“I was getting so’s I could see some good in the life around me. Mc
Murphy was teaching me. I was feeling better than I’d remembered
feeling since I was a kid, when everything was good and the land was
still singing kids’ poetry to me.”
“They could sense the change that most of us were only suspecting;
these weren’t the same bunch of weak-knees from the nuthouse that
they’d watched take their insults on the dock this morning.”
“That’s that Mc Murphy. He’s far away. He’s still trying to pull people out
of the fog. Why don’t he leave me be?”
“While McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against
the cabin top, spreading his laugh out across the water—laughing at the
girl, the guys, at George, at me sucking my bleeding thumb, at the
captain back at the pier and the bicycle rider and the service-station
guys and the five thousand houses and the Big Nurse and all of it.
Because he knows you have to laugh at the things that hurt you just to
keep yourself in balance, just to keep the world from running you plumb
‘He hadn’t let what he looked like run his life one way or the other, any
more than he’d let the Combine mill him into fitting where they wanted
him to fit”
“He had the man smell of dust and dirt from the open fields, and sweat
and work.” –ref: Mc Murphy
“Hoo boy, blowin’ a man back up to full size is a secret you can’t share
with everybody…”
The Combine & the Ward
“The Combine is a lot like the sound you hear when you’re standing late
at night on top of a big hydroelectric dam. Low, relentless, brute power.”
“The clean arcade movement is coming back; six-thirty out of bed,
seven into the mess hall, Acutes … in the Nurses’ Station I can see the
white hands of the Big Nurse float over the controls
Nurse Ratched
“…she really lets herself go and her painted smile twists, stretches to an
open snarl, and she blows up bigger and bigger, big as a tractor, so big I
can smell the machinery inside the way you smell a motor pulling too
big a load.”
“…no compact or lipstick or woman stuff…only a thousand parts she
aims to use in her duties today – wheels and gears, cogs polished to a
hard glitter…”
“I hope you’re finally satisfied. Playing with human lives – gambling with
human lives – as if you thought yourself to be a God!”
Billy Bibbit
“If we had the g-guts! I could go outside today, if I had the guts. My mm-mother is a good friend of M-m-Miss Ratched, and I could get an AMA
signed this afternoon, if I had the guts!.. You think I wuh-wuh-want to
stay in here? You think I wouldn’t like a con-convertible and a guh-guhgirlfriend? …Well I’m not big and tough…”