One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

How does Harding get hurt?

Chapter 5

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Harding notes that Dr. Spivey, just like the patients, is afraid of Nurse Ratched. Harding compares the patients to rabbits who cannot adjust to their rabbithood, so they need a strong wolf like Nurse Ratched to teach them their places.

McMurphy says to the men that deep down, they are all lucid and can return to functioning society. Harding now relates the tools that Ratched uses to gain submission from the patients, including domination and even electroshock therapy (EST). McMurphy bets the patients that he can get Nurse Ratched to “crack” or show some vulnerability within a week.