Cool Hand Luke

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Throughout life, one is taught that there are certain things that are right, and other things that are considered wrong. Amongst these teachings, one of the first lessons that a human being learns is to obey authority. A child is initially taught to obey his parents, and as he grows older, this authority figure changes from a parent into a teacher into a boss. However, amongst every group or community, a few figures stand out as people who refuse to obey the authoritarian figure simply because they are expected to: rebels. Whether one may admit it or not, rebellion is a central theme in society today. It can be seen within any group of people, whether it be a classroom or a sect of a religion. Naturally, this idea of rebellion also extends into the culture of a society. In the novels One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest and A Clockwork Orange, as well as the film Cool Hand Luke, rebellion is a constant theme that eventually establishes the influence of the central characters in the stories.

In Ken Kesey’s novel, McMurphy is the constant embodiment of rebellion against authority. The ease with which he damages the machine created by Nurse Ratchet within the ward is a perfect example of the influence a rebel can have within the community. Between the time of his arrival and his death, he turns seemingly incurable mental patients such as Chief Bromden into functioning human beings by simply giving them the hope that they can think for themselves once more, and do not have to rely on a nurse for their every whim. However, McMurphy’s rebellion changed as he stayed at the hospital for an extended period of time. At first, the rebellion was only to annoy the too strict nurse who he felt was a nuisance. As time passed however, his rebellion gained a purpose to give the other patients hope and believe in themselves so that they could break away from the nurse’s mind controlling machine. This is indicated several times throughout the novel as the fog surrounding Chief...
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