One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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Doctor Spivey Character Analysis

The doctor assigned to the ward. Under Nurse Ratched’s control because he’s allegedly addicted to opiates, and she can use this as leverage to have him fired. He’s also a pushover, making him easy to dominate. When McMurphy arrives, Doctor Spivey feels re-invigorated, just as his patients do, and frequently backs up McMurphy’s suggestions, such as going on the fishing trip or starting a basketball team.

Doctor Spivey Quotes in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

The One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest quotes below are all either spoken by Doctor Spivey or refer to Doctor Spivey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Sanity v. Insanity Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest published in 2002.
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Doctor Spivey Character Timeline in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

The timeline below shows where the character Doctor Spivey appears in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One
Sanity v. Insanity Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
Social Pressure and Shame Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
Emasculation and Sexuality Theme Icon
...consensual and he brags about how often they had sex. She hands McMurphy’s folder to Doctor Spivey who notes McMurphy has no previously documented mental illness. Spivey reads a note from the... (full context)
Sanity v. Insanity Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
Doctor Spivey introduces the Therapeutic Community rules, which include airing grievances in the safe space of group... (full context)
Sanity v. Insanity Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
Social Pressure and Shame Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
Emasculation and Sexuality Theme Icon
...right, just that no one has ever dared to say it before. Harding says that Dr. Spivey is like the rest of the men, submissive to Nurse Ratched. She can’t be fired... (full context)
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
Later that day, McMurphy has his admission interview with Dr. Spivey , and when McMurphy returns they are both laughing. At the group meeting afterward, Dr.... (full context)
Part Two
Sanity v. Insanity Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
Emasculation and Sexuality Theme Icon
Dr. Spivey begins a staff meeting to discuss McMurphy and the other residents (i.e. doctors in training)... (full context)
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
...a group session. After the meeting finishes, Nurse Ratched says that she has decided with Dr. Spivey that because of the lack of remorse the men have shown for their behavior surrounding... (full context)
Part Three
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
...Acutes begin joking and talking again, and McMurphy puts together a basketball team and has Dr. Spivey sign off on it for its “therapeutic value” despite Nurse Ratched’s protests. At the nurse’s... (full context)
Sanity v. Insanity Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
Social Pressure and Shame Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
Emasculation and Sexuality Theme Icon
McMurphy decides that if they can’t play basketball they should go fishing. Dr. Spivey approves the trip for McMurphy and nine others after McMurphy says that they’ll be accompanied... (full context)
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
Emasculation and Sexuality Theme Icon
...the men turn on McMurphy, but none of them seem to care. McMurphy then persuades Dr. Spivey to join them on the trip and drive a second car. (full context)
Sanity v. Insanity Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
Social Pressure and Shame Theme Icon
...gas station, the attendant notes that the men’s uniforms are those from the mental hospital. Dr. Spivey says they’re a work crew, but the “lying made us feel worse than ever—not because... (full context)
Sanity v. Insanity Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
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The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
...will blot out the pain.” Harding starts laughing too, and then Scanlon, and Candy, Sefelt, Dr. Spivey , and everyone else too. (full context)
Social Pressure and Shame Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
Emasculation and Sexuality Theme Icon
When they got back to the docks, the captain was waiting with some cops. Dr. Spivey got off the boat and said that the cops didn’t have any jurisdiction as this... (full context)
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Social Pressure and Shame Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
Emasculation and Sexuality Theme Icon
When they return to the ward, Dr. Spivey takes the patients outside to his car to look at the halibut he caught. Only... (full context)
Part Four
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
Social Pressure and Shame Theme Icon
Emasculation and Sexuality Theme Icon
...Harding, saying that they all forced him to have sex. Nurse Ratched sends Billy to Dr. Spivey ’s office to cool off and think while she deals with the rest of the... (full context)
Sanity v. Insanity Theme Icon
Institutional Control vs. Human Dignity Theme Icon
Social Pressure and Shame Theme Icon
The Combine: Machine, Nature, and Man Theme Icon
Emasculation and Sexuality Theme Icon
...Medical Advice, and then three more Acutes left while six transferred to a different ward. Dr. Spivey is asked to resign but refuses. For the week that Nurse Ratched is away, the... (full context)