| Quote #7
Harding's hand touches McMurphy's knee. "Put your troubled mind at ease, my friend. In all likelihood you needn't concern yourself with EST. It's almost out of vogue and only used in the extreme cases nothing else seems to reach, like lobotomy."
McMurphy learns the extent of Miss Ratched’s power – not only can she use electroshock therapy at her discretion, but also cut away part of a patient’s brain if they’re not cooperating with her. But as they discuss her power, McMurphy states that the power is not Miss Ratched’s alone – she’s just part of the system. Though most of the Acutes don’t get what he’s saying, Chief understands – he’s already got an entire theory worked out about the machine called society.
| Quote #8
As I walked after them it came to me as a kind of sudden surprise that I was drunk, actually drunk, glowing and grinning and staggering drunk for the first time since the Army, drunk along with half a dozen other guys and a couple of girls-right on the Big Nurse's ward! Drunk and running and laughing and carrying on with women square in the center of the Combine's most powerful stronghold! I thought back on the night, on what we'd been doing, and it was near impossible to believe. I had to keep reminding myself that it had truly happened, that we had made it happen. We had just unlocked a window and let it in like you let in the fresh air. Maybe the Combine wasn't all-powerful. What was to stop us from doing it again, now that we saw we could? Or keep us from doing other things we wanted? (4.3.120)
Getting drunk makes the hospital’s power seem less all-encompassing for Chief.