In Chapter 8 of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, how does McMurphy manipulate Spivey?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This event clearly indicates the way that the conflict between Nurse Ratched and McMurphy spreads out to involve others and in particular, in this case, Spivey. After McMurphy has asked Nurse Ratched if the music can be turned down to allow those who want to read or play games to do so without having to listen to the same music that the Chronics "enjoy," and her refusal, McMurphy goes to Spivey and makes a suggestion that is only announced by him at the next meeting when he offers the old tub room as a games room for the group:

We don't use the room at all otherwise; there's no longer a need for the hydrotherapy it was designed for, now that we have the new drugs. So how would the group like to have that room as a sort of second day room, a game room, shall we say?

Even though Nurse Ratched tries to stall this idea by bringing up problems of staffing, it becomes clear that McMurphy has anticipated her, discussing precisely this issue with Spivey so he has an answer all prepared. However, Nurse Ratched is able to show her own manipulation of Spivey when she announces at the end of Part II that, as a punishment for not keeping to the cleaning schedule, the games room is to be closed.


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