Hero of the Ward: Randle P. Mcmurphy

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“With great power comes great responsibility” was the advice given to an all-time favourite superhero, Spiderman. However, a hero is not defined by the power one has but what one does with the power they are given. Power can come in a variety of forms such as wealth, physical capabilities or mental strength, and two powerful characters usually results in an epic battle for ultimate authority where one is seen as a hero and the other a villain. “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” written by Ken Kesey, tells the story of the battle between two strong-willed characters within a mental asylum, Randle P. McMurphy and the Big Nurse Ratched. Randle P. Murphy is seen as a hero to many of the male patients on the ward and in particular to Chief Bromden, through the actions which demonstrate his heroic qualities. Through the determination he possesses, sacrifices he made and influence he had, Randle P. McMurphy is viewed as a hero in the eyes of the patients of the ward.

Determination is an important character trait a hero must possess. Randle McMurphy demonstrates his determination through the efforts McMurphy endured to give his fellow patients their own strength and courage. When fighting the black boys the odds were against his favour, three to one. His perseverance though this unfair and outnumbered fight was admirable. Even though “McMurphy had red marks on the head and shoulder” he “didn’t seem to be hurt. He kept coming, taking ten blows for one” (Kesey 230). Although it was obvious McMurphy could not win this fight, his strong-will kept his aggression intact which inspired all the patients of the ward. McMurphy’s dedication to the patients gave Chief Bromden the courage to fight alongside McMurphy and McMurphy gained the trust and respect of the other men. McMurphy’s determined persona is also shown through his devotion to not succumb to Nurse Ratched. Having the knowledge of Nurse Ratched having the ability to execute punishments as she pleases, McMurphy...
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