A hero is a person who has distinguished courage and ability and can be looked at as a model or ideal. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Randle Patrick McMurphy is seen to be the hero of the story. When McMurphy gets entered into the ward he is the only person in there who has any idea of what the outside world is like anymore. Throughout the movie McMurphy tries to makes the guys, which were already in the ward, understand what the outside world is like and that the only reason they are stuck in there is because Nurse Ratched convinced them, they are the reasons that society looks at them as social outcast.
Our modern use of hero would not be possible without the Renaissance. During the Middle Ages Roman Catholic scholars did not look favorably upon man’s achievements. While he was living under the shadows of sin, these scholars of medieval Europe stressed the afterlife and greatness came from God not man. They believed the true heroes of Christendom were the martyrs, missionaries and priests preparing for salvation. The Renaissance challenged this with the rediscovery of classic literature from ancient Greece and Rome. In classic literature they emphasized man’s capacity for greatness (Simona, Simona 1). It was Francesco Petrarch who brought heroism back into modern day literature. He believed that heroism was emphasized as man’s capacity for greatness. So he developed a new meaning for heroism. He viewed a hero as somebody who conquered fortune, beat the odds and rose to the top. And thus the modern hero was born and his ideas still stick to our definition of a hero today.
During the movie we see many times when they are portraying McMurphy as a hero. They start this out early in the movie when McMurphy is trying to teach Chief Bromden how to play basketball. When McMurphy starts to teach him, the other people that are in the ward tell McMurphy that Bromden is deft and dumb. McMurphy shows his qualities as a hero at this point because...
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Dir. Milos Forman. Perfs. Jack Nicholson. Louise Fletcher. Sydney Lassick. Fantasy Films. 1975. DVD
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