One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

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* “Sometimes a character in literature makes a deliberate decision to sacrifice himself for the good of others” This quote means that people may face challenges and situations, in which they must sacrifice their own needs and wants for the benefit of others. In the book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, McMurphy sacrifices himself for the other patients in the ward. Kesey uses many symbolic references to show McMurphy sacrificing himself, just as Jesus Christ did for his own disciples. Many events occurring in the book depict McMurphy as a Christ like figure.

Nurse Ratched, the head of the mental ward, treats the patients unfairly. She, along with the black boys, have free reign over the patient’s lives. A savior is needed when Nurse Ratched takes complete control over her patients. The patients at the mental hospital are convinced that they will “benefit” from the treatment given at the ward. The fear of Nurse Ratched is stopped when McMurphy, “the savior”, is admitted to the ward for excessive fighting. McMurphy believes he can get the best of Nurse Ratched before she gets the best of him.

The first event that shows McMurphy sacrificing himself for the patients at the ward is the vote about the World Series. McMurphy insists that the ward policy be changed so they can watch the World Series. The first time the vote is issued, the patients are unwilling to participate . At the second group meeting, McMurphy insists a second vote to be taken. Nurse Ratched becomes angry with McMurphy and calls the vote off, even though McMurphy had won the vote at the last second. Instead of obeying the ward policy, McMurphy goes against Nurse Ratched and pulls a chair in front of the television. The other ward patients, follow in McMurphy footsteps, going against Nurse Ratcheds’ total control and authority. Nurse Ratched demands that they stop shouting, but for once she cannot control them. The second event that is an example of McMurphy’s sacrifice is the...
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