The “east/west” polarity represents the opposite philosophies and social-politics at the base of their conflict; a dichotomy which represents their respective ideas. Because Nurse Ratched is portrayed as “putting ‘em inna pens,” she is seen as the oppressor, opposite to the male “hens” who are seen as innocent and helpless. Similarly, John Zubizarreta examines the extent of the rift between the patients and the nurse in his article, “The Disparity of Point of View in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” He depicts the audience as “steadily siding with the psychopathic misfit McMurphy as he provokes the inflexible, prudish Miss Ratched into a battle that takes on the proportions of myth: man versus woman, good versus evil, freedom versus confinement, individuality versus conformity” (Zubizaretta 69). These traits all exist in opposite sides of the argument – McMurphy and the patients, individualists yearning for freedom, and Nurse Ratched, the evil tyrant confining them. The idea of heroism displayed in McMurphy creates a tone of misogyny, which causes the schism between the male and female persona.
Because the masculine approach of the text creates a dichotomy between the males and females of the ward, it rejects female authority. Throughout the novel, McMurphy pushes the boundaries Nurse Ratched has so painstakingly established. McMurphy serves as