But the new guy is different, and the Acutes can see it, different from anybody been coming on this ward for the past ten years, different from anybody they ever met outside. He’s just as vulnerable, maybe, but the Combine didn’t get him.
I thought for a minute there I saw her whipped. Maybe I did. But I see now that it don’t make any difference. One by one the patients are sneaking looks at her to see how she’s taking the way McMurphy is dominating the meeting, and they see the same thing. She’s too big to be beaten.
You forget—if you don’t sit down and make the effort to think back—forget how it was at the old hospital. They didn’t have nice places like this on the walls for you to climb into. They didn’t have TV or swimming pools or chicken twice a month. They didn’t have nothing but walls and chairs, confinement jackets it took you hours of hard work to get out of. They’ve learned a lot since then.
Nobody complains about all the fog. I know why, now, as bad as it is, you can slip back in it and feel safe. That’s what McMurphy can’t understand, us wanting to be safe. He keeps trying to drag us out of the fog, out in the open where we’d be easy to get at.
And we’re all sitting there lined up in front of that blanked out TV set, watching the gray screen just like we could see the baseball game clear as day, and she’s ranting and screaming behind us.