DIRECTIONS: The passage in this test is followed by several questions. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question. You may refer to the passage as often as necessary.

Passage 2- Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
He was talking to the lifeguard, and I was standing a few feet away. McMurphy must have been standing in a hole because he was having to tread water where I was just standing on the bottom. The lifeguard was standing on the edge of the pool; he had a whistle and a T-shirt on with his ward number on it. He and McMurphy had got to talking about the difference between hospital and jail, and McMurphy was saying how much better the hospital was. The lifeguard wasn’t so sure. I heard him tell McMurphy that, for one thing, being committed ain’t like being sentenced. “You’re sentenced in a jail, and you got a date ahead of you when you know you’re gonna be turned loose,” he said.

McMurphy stopped splashing around like h had been. He swam slowly to the edge of the pool and held there, looking up at the lifeguard. “And if you’re committed?” he asked after a pause.


The lifeguard raised his shoulders in a musclebound shrug and tugged at the whistle around his neck. He was an old pro-footballer with cleat marks in his forehead, and every so often when he was off his ward a signal would click back of his eyes and his lips’d go to spitting numbers and he’d drop to all fours in a line stance and cut loose on some strolling nurse, drive a shoulder in her kidneys just in time to let the halfback shoot past through the hole behind him. That’s why he was up on Disturbed; whenever he wasn’t lifeguarding he was liable to do something like that.
He shrugged again at McMurphy’s question, then looked back and forth to see if any black boys were around, and knelt close to the edge of the pool. He held his arm out for McMurphy to look at.

“You see this cast?”

McMurphy looked at the big arm. “You don’t have a cast on that arm, buddy?”
The lifeguard just grinned. “Well, that cast’s on there because I got a bad fracture in the last game with the Browns. I can’t get back in togs till the fracture knits and I get the cast off. The nurse on my ward tells me she’s curing the arm in secret. Yeah, man, she says if I go easy on that arm, don’t exert it or nothing, she’ll take the cast off and I can get back with the ball club.”

He put his knuckles on the wet tile, went into a three-point stance to test how the arm was coming along. McMurphy watched him for a minute, then asked how long he’d been waiting for them to tell him his arm was healed so he could leave the hospital. The lifeguard raised up slowly asked that, like he thought he was being accused of being soft and licking his wounds. “I’m committed,” he said. “I’d of left here before now if it was up to me. Maybe I couldn’t play first string, with this bum arm, but I could of folded towels, couldn’t I? I could of done something. That nurse on my ward, she keeps telling the doctor I ain’t ready. Not even to fold towels in the crummy locker room, I ain’t ready.”

He turned and walked over to his lifeguard chair, climbed up the chair ladder like a drugged gorilla, and peered down at us, his lower lip pushed way out. “I was picked up for drunk and disorderly, and I been here eight years and eight months,” he said.





1. According to McMurphy, life in the hospital is:
A. better than jail
B. better than a work camp
C. worse than jail
D. more difficult than a work camp

2. From the lifeguard’s response to McMurphy’s query on being committed (lines 23-25), it can be inferred that his perspective is:
A. Clouded by the medication he receives on the ward
B. Indifferent toward the treatment he receives
C. Positive about his upcoming release
D. Founded on the anger he feels toward the nurses in the ward

3. It can be reasonably inferred from this passage that McMurphy has learned:
A. Who is in charge of his release
B. When the lifeguard will be released
C. What happens when someone
breaks his arm on the ward
D. What it means to be committed

4. As seen in line 20, the word committed most nearly means:
A. Assigned or delivered by legal authority
B. Bound or obligated
C. Entrusted for safekeeping
D. Pledged for a certain purpose

5. In this passage, the lifeguard implies that:
A. Being sentenced is worse than being committed
B. Being committed is worse than being sentenced
C. Being committed and sentenced are about the same
D. Being committed and being sentenced are decision only made by doctors and nurses

6. What can reasonably be inferred by the nurse’s declaration that the lifeguard “ain’t ready” even to fold the towels in the locker room?
A. The lifeguard is allowed to give input into his
treatment
B. The lifeguard’s arm his not healed well enough to allow him to work
C. The lifeguard may return to football after serious treatment in the hospital
D. The lifeguard does not understand what he is being treated for

7. When the author describes the lifeguard as climbing up the chair ladder like a “drugged gorilla,” it reveals that:
A. The lifeguard is a drug addict
B. The lifeguard is very large and moves clumsily
C. The lifeguard is under the influence of medicine used to treat his mental illness
D. The lifeguard is unaware of his surroundings

8. Which of the following questions has not been answered in this passage:
A. Whether McMurphy is committed or not
B. The difference between jail and the hospital
C. Where the lifeguard works
D.Which Ward the lifeguard is on

9. It can logically be inferred that because the lifeguard is on the Disturbed Ward:
A. He got in a fight with the Nurse
B. He used to play football
C. He is deemed worse off than the Acutes and Chronics
D.He committed murder to get sentenced there

10. The main purpose of this passage seems to be to: A. Describe the pool at the hospital
B. Help McMurphy realize the grimness of his situation
C. Give the reader an understanding of the lifeguard’s football days
D. Show how insane those on Disturbed Ward are