One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

Topics: Hero Pages: 4 (1331 words) Published: February 27, 2010
The only constant is change. It is inevitable that every person throughout their life will transform in some way—for good or for bad. Changing for the better usually starts with a selfish, egotistic person who is trying to be less interested in him/herself, and more interested in others. In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, this type of transformation is easily recognized. “When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness~Joseph Campbell.” McMurphy parellels the previous quote by Joseph Campbell, and by examining his actions and relationships, the reader is able to see that he is transformed from an originally selfish man into a self-less hero. Randal Patrick McMurphy is introduced as an extremely selfish man who will do anything to benefit his own personal gain. This is evidently displayed through the description of his past actions, and also through the way he treats the other patients on the ward. Motivated by self-interest throughout his life, McMurphy’s past can not only be labeled as that of a criminal, but of an egotistical criminal who completely disregards the feelings of others repeatedly.

“McMurry, Randle Patrick. Committed by the state from Pendleton Farm for Correction. For diagnosis and possible treatment. Thirty-five years old. Never married. Distinguished Service Cross in Korea, for leading an escape from a Communist prison camp. A dishonorable discharge, afterward, for insubordination. Followed by a history of street brawls and barroom fights and a series of arrests for Drunkenness, Assault and Battery, Disturbing the Peace, repeated gambling, and one arrest—for Rape.” (Kesey 44) The charges that Randall proudly displays while he is introducing himself manifests that his character is irresponsible on account of his behaviour for Drunkenness, violent—shown through Assault and Battery charges, and deranged which is evident in...
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