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One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest


by Ken Kesey

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest Characters

Meet the Cast

Randle McMurphy

McMurphy is larger than life, a man destined to change the asylum forever. Whether he’s a psychopath or not, we’ll never know. Regardless, he sure is smart and he sure is likable and he sure d...

Chief Bromden

Chief is the narrator of the story and for most of the book, he’s just an observer. He watches how McMurphy interacts with the men, what McMurphy is trying to do, and how the staff reacts. Becaus...

Nurse Ratched (Big Nurse)

Nurse Ratched desires order, and she wants complete power, so she manipulates her patients and the staff to do fulfill her desires. As the head nurse and as a woman with many connections both insid...

Dale Harding

Until McMurphy shows up, Dale Harding is the natural leader among the Acutes—the one everybody looks up to and follows in times of crisis. But he doesn’t seem to resent McMurphy taking over. In...

Billy Bibbit

Billy is a shy man whose special demon is fear. Because his mother and Nurse Ratched are friends, and because Billy is a momma’s boy, the Big Nurse has a special power over him. Billy wants to...

Doctor Spivey

The doctor is a kind man who would rather be working with his charts than participating in the afternoon group meetings. Because he may be addicted to opiates, and Nurse Ratched insinuates this con...

Charles Cheswick

Cheswick is one of the Acutes, the first patient to support McMurphy when he pits himself against Nurse Ratched. When McMurphy doesn’t support Cheswick in his own stand against Nurse Ratched, Che...

The Acutes

The Acutes are made up of patients who are seen to be "curable." These men include McMurphy, Harding, Cheswick, Billy, and others. As a group, they hang out together during the day and often play...

The Chronics

The Chronics are made up of patients who are considered incurable and will probably be in the ward for the rest of their lives. Chief is included in this category. The Chronics are further subdivid...

Candy Star

Candy is the young prostitute who accompanies the men on their boating expedition and later returns to spend a bit of time in the Seclusion Room with Billy Bibbit.

George Sorenson (Rub-a-Dub George)

George is a former fisherman who is deathly afraid of dirt. After the fishing trip, Nurse Ratched uses her power to enforce a mass cleansing of all the men’s genitals and George protests because...

The Orderlies

Williams, Warren, Washington, and Geever are the orderlies at the ward. These men are always around trying to figure out a way to make life miserable for the patients. Chief sees them as full so fu...


Rawler commits suicide by cutting off his balls and bleeding to death. This symbolizes the way all the men are being emasculated by Nurse Ratched and, more generally, by the system in place (the Co...


Sandy is a prostitute who knows McMurphy. She joins in on the ward part and is found in McMurphy’s bed.

Public Relation

A fat-faced, balding man who brings people in for tours of the insane asylum. He promotes the asylum and says how great it is.
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