One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: An Analysis

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 185
  • Published : September 27, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
A hero is considered to be any person noted for courage or nobility of purpose; especially the ones who risked or sacrificed their lives for a greater cause. In Ken Kesey's novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, McMurphy is a prime example of one who fits those characteristics of a hero. Although McMurphy may have been defeated in the end, he will be remembered as a tragic hero whose strength embodies a heroic devotion to his friends and other acutes in the ward. 

This book is about how a lively con man, R.P. McMurphy, who turns a mental institution upside down with his rambunctious antics and outrageous remarks toward the head nurse, Nurse Ratched. Throughout the book McMurphy teaches the others in the institution how to stand up for themselves, to challenge conformity of rambunctious antics in society and to be who they want to be, without being afraid.

Firstly, McMurphy revitalizes the hope and gives them courage to stand and fight against Nurse Ratched's stranglehold on the ward. No one ever dared to talk back or go against Nurse Ratched. Harding even states, "No one ever dared to come out and say it before, but there is not a man among us that does not think it..." McMurphy is the only one who can stand against the Big Nurse's oppressive supreme power. Chief explains this by stating, "To beat her you don't have to whip her two out of three or three out of five, but every time you meet. As soon as you let down your guard, as sson as you loose once, she's won for good. And eventually we all got to lose. Nobody can help that." McMuprhy's struggle for hte patient's free will is a disruption to Nurse Ratched's social order. Though she holds down her guard she yet is incapable of controlling what McMurphy is incontrollable of , such as his friends well being, to the order of Nurse Ratched and the Combine. 

Before R.P. McMurphy arrives, the ward is your basic average mental institution. Men line up to receive their medication, they do puzzles and play...
tracking img