One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Quotes - Page 3 | Just Great DataBase

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Hell of a life. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Puts a man in one confounded bind, I’d say. McMurphy

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If you’ll curtail your literary pursuits a moment I’ll introduce you to my counterpart and Nemesis; I would be trite and say, ‘to my better half,’ but I think that phrase indicates some kind of basically equal division, don’t you?

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... and if I don't have her to where she don't know whether to shit or go blind, the bet is yours.

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He keeps trying to drag us out of the fog, out in the open where we’d be easy to get at.

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There is generally one person in every situation you must never underestimate the power of.

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Whoever comes in the door is usually disappointing, but there is always a chance otherwise. And when a key hits the lock, all the heads come up like there's strings on them.

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When a guy's getting screwed he's got a right to holler. And we've been damn well screwed.

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You got to understand that as soon as a man goes to help someone, he leaves himself wide open.

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You got to understand that as soon as a man goes to help somebody, he leaves himself wide open.

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A wind came up and broke the sea into green and silver chunks, like a field of glass and chrome, and the boat began to rock and pitch about more...The waves got bigger as we got closer to shore, and from the crests clots of white foam blew swirling up in the wind to join the gulls.

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They’re trying to act like they still got their eyes on nothing but that blank TV in front of us, but anyone can see they’re all sneaking looks at the Big Nurse behind her glass there, just the same as I am. For the first time she’s on the other side of the glass and getting a taste of how it feels to be watched when you wish more than anything else to be able to pull a green shade between your face and all the eyes that you can’t get away from.

McMurphy doesn’t know it, but he’s onto what I realized a long time back, that it’s not just the Big Nurse by herself, but it’s the whole Combine, the nation-wide Combine that’s the really big force, and the nurse is just a high-ranking official for them.

Please understand: We do not impose certain rules and restrictions on you without a great deal of thought about their therapeutic value. A good many of you are in here because you could not adjust to the rules of society in the Outside World, because you refused to face up to them, because you tried to circumvent them and avoid them. At some time—perhaps in your childhood—you may have been allowed to get away with flouting the rules of society. When you broke a rule you knew it. You wanted to be dealt with, needed it, but the punishment did not come. That foolish lenience on the part of your parents may have been the germ that grew into your present illness. I tell you this hoping you will understand that it is entirely for your own good that we enforce discipline and order.

[Nurse Ratched] knew that people, being like they are, sooner or later are going to draw back a ways from somebody who seems to be giving a little more than ordinary, form Santa Clauses and missionaries and men donating funds to worthy causes, and begin to wonder: what’s in it for them? Grin out of the side of their mouths when the young lawyer, say, brings a sack of pecans to the kids in his district school—just before nominations for state senate, the sly devil—and say to one another, He’s nobody’s fool.

I tried to talk to [McMurphy] into playing along with [Nurse Ratched] so’s to get out of the treatments, but he just laughed and told me Hell, all they was doin’ was chargin’ his battery for him, free for nothing.

First Charles Cheswick and now William Bibbit! I hope you’re finally satisfied. Playing with human lives—gambling with human lives—as if you thought yourself to be a God!

She tried to get her ward back into shape, but it was difficult with McMurphy’s presence still tromping up and down the halls and laughing out loud in the meetings and singing in the latrines. She couldn’t rule with her old power any more, not by writing things on pieces of paper. She was losing her patients one after the other. After Harding signed out and was picked up by his wife, and George transferred to a different ward, just three of us were left out of the group that had been on the fishing crew, myself and Martini and Scanlon.

I was only sure of one thing: he wouldn't have left something like that sit there in the day room with his name tacked on it for twenty or thirty years so the Big Nurse could use it as an example of what can happen if you buck the system.

They don’t bother not talking out loud about their hate secrets when I’m nearby because they think I’m deaf and dumb. Everybody thinks so. I’m cagey enough to fool them that much. If my being half Indian ever helped me in any way in this dirty life, it helped me being cagey, helped me all these years.

I can’t see six inches in front of me through the fog and the only thing I can hear over the wail I’m making is the Big Nurse whoop and charge up the hall while she crashes patients outta her way with that wicker bag. I hear her coming but I still can’t hush my hollering. I holler till she gets there.