One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Part III Summary

     After the glass breaking incident, McMurphy is back in good spirits and invested in not giving in to Nurse Ratched's efforts to domesticate him. McMurphy organizes a basketball team, and even convinces the doctor to let the patients practice with the ball outside of their gym time. The day that the new glass is installed in Nurse Ratched's window, McMurphy is denied his request for unaccompanied leave from the hospital, and smashes the brand new glass, claiming that he didn't know it had been installed yet.

     The other Acute patients begin to follow McMurphy's example, and become less submissive to the controls of the ward. Harding flirts with nurses, Billy stops writing in the log book meant for patients to report on each other, and when the glass is replaced for a second time, Scanlon breaks it by bouncing the basketball into it.

     McMurphy proposes an idea for a fishing trip, and places a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board. Chief Bromden wants to sign up, but contemplates if it would be worth revealing that he isn't deaf and dumb. This reminds Chief of a day in his childhood, when two men and a woman came to his home to appraise purchasing their tribal land from his father, for the purposes of building a hydroelectric dam. The men and woman made disparaging remarks about about Chief Bromden and his people as if he either wasn't there or couldn't understand them.

     That night Chief Bromden is awoken by Geever scraping chewing gum from under his bed, and overhears him telling McMurphy how the Chief chews it over and over again because he has no way to get new sticks of gum. When Geever goes, McMurphy offers him a piece of his gum, and Chief Bromden thanks him, uttering the first words he has spoken in years. They end up having a conversation, in which Chief Bromden tells McMurphy that despite his large stature, he has been made small, just like his father became small when he was forced to sell his tribal lands to the government. The two men make a deal that if McMurphy can help the Chief grow big again, Chief Bromden will promise to lift the control panel from the tub room.

     The next morning, McMurphy's friends from Portland are set to arrive to take the patients on their fishing trip. Finally arriving late is one young woman, a prostitute, instead of the two they were expecting, so McMurphy convinces Dr. Spivey, and his car, to join them on the trip.

     On the way, the two cars stop at a gas station, and when the employees notice these are patients from the hospital, they attempt to blackmail them. Feeling brave, the patients exaggerate their mental conditions, making themselves out to be crazed, murderous lunatics, which helps to bolster their confidence.

     Once they've reached the docks, the captain refuses to take them out without a signed wavier from the proper authorities. This was the responsibility of McMurphy's friend Sandy, who didn't end up coming on the trip. McMurphy asks to phone the authorities, and goes into the bait shack with the captain. While inside, the other men at the dock make jokes about Candy and the patients, none of whom stand up to them. When McMurphy emerges, he tells everyone to board the boat, and that the Captain will be with them in a minute. As they're preparing to set off, McMurphy reveals that he's given the captain an incorrect phone number. The captain and his cohorts come rushing down the dock, but George has the boat away, and they're off fishing.

     On the boat, McMurphy and Candy go off alone together, and the patients drink beer and commence fishing. They all take turns catching fish, laughing, and having a raucous time. On the way back to shore, the sea roughens, and some panic degree of panic sets in when they realize there aren't enough life jackets for everyone. Billy, Harding, and George all go without life jackets, and Chief Bromden is surprised that McMurphy doesn't volunteer not to wear one, displaying some cracks in his bravado.

     George is able to safely dock the boat, and the captain and police are waiting for them. Dr. Spivey tells the police they have no authority over a legally mandated government expedition, and threatens to blackmail the captain over his boat's lack of life jackets. McMurphy gets in a fist fight with the captain, but eventually all is settled, and the patients share a beer with the captain and his crew.

     On the drive back to the hospital McMurphy drives an inland route to pass by the house he grew up in, and regales Chief Bromden and the others with tales of his life. Before the patients part ways with Candy, they make a plan for her to come back for a date with Billy in two weeks.

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