Study Guide

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Mr. Washington (Nathan George)

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Mr. Washington (Nathan George)

Washington is the orderly that we get to know best in this movie. He follows Nurse Ratched's orders and runs a tight ship. But we also see his personality come out in moments where he tries to talk trash to McMurphy. There are several instances, like where he tells McMurphy not to bother talking out loud to Chief, saying, "What the hell are you talking to him for?"

Washington revels a little bit in making McMurphy angry, probably because McMurphy has done so much to mess things up on the mental ward. But we also see that Washington isn't above making himself feel good at the expense of others. We catch a glimpse of this part of him when he tells McMurphy, "By the time you get out of here, you'll be too old to even get it up." Like Nurse Ratched, Washington gets pleasure from being in command, and he doesn't like beating up McMurphy when he gets the chance either. Unlike Ratched, Washington will clearly reveal his emotions whenever he takes something personally.

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