Nurse Ratched is the evil nurse in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962). She is the Evil Woman as autocratic, the absolute power in a psychiatric ward, which is the ultimate "total institution".
"Big Nurse" is determined to eliminate every trace of male independence and spontaneity, castrating them and rendering them passive. Her machine-like ("ratchet") lack of emotion is monstrous. She is as far from the caring feminine nurse-ideal as possible.
A lecture by Joanna Bourke 18 March
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/evil-nurses
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