Comparisons in the Christ-like characteristics between McMurphy and Jesus Throughout One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, there are signs that McMurphy is a comic Christ-like figure; despite his apparent faults and shortcomings, his actions match that of a tragic hero who saves his people. McMurphy may be considered boorish and in many ways immoral, however, he has other characteristics that resemble Christ- McMurphy has a modest background as a logger, he helps his people rise up against the ward, and he also has a humiliating and sacrificial fall when he is lobotomized. In Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, there are analogies between McMurphy and Jesus’s actions and teachings, behavior and influence to their followers, and deaths in order to show the Christ-like characteristics between the two iconic figures.
The teachings and actions of McMurphy are similar to those of Jesus’s in a multitude of ways such as their power and inspiration. One of the similarities in the actions of the two heroes would be their speeches that allowed their followers to rise up. After McMurphy loses his bet about lifting the panel, he discourteously tells the other patients, “But I tried, though… Goddammit, I sure as hell did that much, now, didn’t I?” (Kesey 111). The significance of this passage is the message within the otherwise disgusted voice. McMurphy teaches the other patients the value of attempting to reach their goals and to not give in to what seems to be a hopeless situation. This allows the patients to fight the ward, which in turn allows the patients to fight the fog, the Combine, and society. This lesson in attempting to fight for their beliefs is apparent as the patients later support McMurphy when he votes to watch the World Series. This matches many of Jesus’s parables which taught against common beliefs and incorporated sinners and those who were deemed outcasts. Similarly, another way McMurphy’s actions are similar to Jesus’s is when he “heals” the...
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