One Flew Over Cuckoos Nest One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest By Ken Kesey 1. How would you describe your main character? Become his voice and write about who he believes they are. I might frighten some of you at first, and others may think of me as some crazy man who has no business living in a normal society. Well, if you thought any of those, youre wrong. I, Randle McMurphy, might have gotten in four or five fights and have been in jail and the work farm for sometime, but I feel that it is necessary to get certain ideas across to people and violence is usually the only way to do that.
However, speaking about the crazy part, I do not feel that Im crazy. I dont sit and daze out in the middle of nowhere; I dont walk up and down a hallway; I talk and listen and I am able to think on my own. Now, by explaining myself to you, I ask you why I am in this dumb mental hospital talking to people who have no sense about life. In fact, I could not even answer the question but I know that I have no voice in the decision of my presence hear. I am probably the biggest rebel you will ever see and I do not take dictation very well.
When I first came to the hospital, the other patients knew I was different because I did not listen to the black workers and especially Ms. Ratched, the Big Nurse who had control over the patients. My biggest conflict was with the nurse. Everyday day we had therapy meetings, where Nurse Ratched tried to help the mental patients cope with their problems. While in the circle, I noticed that when asked to talk by the nurse, the patients stood silent because they were scared of the nurse.
To me, she was nothing but a ruthless woman who took advantage of her position as the head nurse. But for me, being the rebel that I am, I did not want this lady to control me or the other boys. So I started to talk to these people and try to make them comfortable with me in order to get them on my side. This conflict was my drive that kept me interested in the mental hospital. One guy, Chief Bromden, was supposedly deaf and never spoke.
After being the only one who tried to get through to him, he finally spoke to me and became my sidekick. I didnt pay attention to the others ideas about the chief so I taught him things through examples, and it paid off in the end. Also, I taught the boys how to gamble and I tried to make everything in the ward fun and enjoyable because to me, the mental hospital seemed worse than a jail. After a while of communicating to the patients, they began to have fun and enjoyed being in the ward. Also, I had to make a few bets in order to get the patients to trust and respect me, and it worked.
I questioned the ideas of the authorities and I tried to ratify the rules in order to make it a pleasing environment for the patients, and I succeeded. The Nurse began to lose control over the patients and the patients followed my lead by fighting for what they wanted rather than going over the same routine. By following my footsteps, the patients finally found the light within society, and stepped into it with open arms and wishful smiles. No longer were they under the control of the system and its rules; I had broken free from the routine, and in the end, changed the world as they knew it. As I look back at what I had done, I am pleased that I was able to change such a system that was detrimental to the patients desires to see what life is really about.
Even though I did gamble with them in order to make a few bucks, over time I felt that my presence in the mental hospital was really big in the minds of the patients. I was like Christ to them, in that I brought them this new light about life and showed them how to be happy and independent. Also, I consider myself a hero in that I was able to influence the lives of at least twelve patients and I changed their entire perception about life. In doing so, I might have crossed the line a little bit, especially in my last stunt. By bringing prostitutes and alcohol into the hospital, I was sentenced to a lobotomy, which ultimately resulted in my death. Also, I forced Billy to have sex with the prostitute and by doing so, Billy committed suicide because Nurse Ratched threatened him by telling his mother about Billys incident.
In this case I felt very weak and I noticed that as more and more time was spent in the hospital, my mentality became weaker and I was not as emotionally strong. However, that is one thing I sacrificed in order to help the others become more powerful and I have no regrets in my actions. 2. What does this character do to demonstrate his character? Use three quotes. Give an explanation of each one.
She tried to get her ward back into shape, but it was difficult with McMurphys presence still tromping up and down the halls and laughing out loud in the meetings and singing in the latrines. She couldnt rule with her old power any more P. 269 McMurphy relates to Martin Luther King Jr. and Newton and many others in that he changed a system into an idea that benefits others. His revolutionist characteristics emphasize the idea of questioning the authority power, which defined his ability to change the system of the hospital.
His belief seems to be that even if you are not successful in changing the system in its entirety, the effects of a person trying can still be very effective. In fact, if you manage to accomplish a small change in the system, it will still be worth the fight. As seen in the novel, the effects of a minor victory ripple into much larger victories in the battles to come. As a revolutionist, you set an example for others to follow and in essence pave the way for others to follow. In this case, McMurphy is considered a revolutionist in the minds of the patients as well as the doctors. Whos got five bucks they want to lose? You hit or you sit I dont know what hes driving at; broad and big as he is, itd take three of him to move that panelAnd suddenly nobodys hooting him anymore.
His whole body shakes with the strain as he tries to lift something he knows he cant life, something everybody knows he cant lift But I tried goddammit, I sure as hell did that much, now, didnt I? P. 110 In this scene, McMurphy bets that he can pull this cement panel out of the floor, which will be used to break the glass for his escape. He tries to build the patients trust for him and his attempt had failed; however, his last remark shows his character in that he attempted to do something that went against the policy but failed. McMurphy tried to emphasize the fact that people do fail but the ones that do become successful in the future, and the patients respected McMurphy for his attempt. Also, it was a way to give all of the IOUs back to the patients that he had won from poker.
It’s my cross, thank you Lord, it’s all I got, thank you Lord. P. 269 In the quote above, McMurphy makes a reference to Pontius Pilate before he was put to the electro-shock. Pontius Pilate who was a Roman military governor was connected to the execution of Christ. In the novel, McMurphy is often compared to Christ.
For instance, the electro-shock therapy is used as a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion and later McMurphy is forced to face this punishment. Also, the number of men (twelve) that McMurphy leads to the ocean is the same as the number of Christ’s disciples. One might ask the question of how McMurphy could possibly resemble Christ, with his drinking, gambling, and prior criminal activities hardly saint-like. However, like Christ, McMurphy spreads hope throughout a hopeless environment and fights for the freedom of others, before being forced to sacrifice himself. In conclusion, McMurphy is an extremely complex character.
At the same time he displays the terrible qualities of greed and selfishness, as well as the characteristics of courage and benevolence. He acts out of neither personal gain nor the greater good, but more a combination of both. Also, often compared to Christ, McMurphy is truly shown as a savior to the patients at the ward, despite his frequent efforts to gain money. 3. What do other characters say about this character? Use three quotes.
Give an explanation of each one. I was seeing him different than when he first came in; I was seeing more to him than just big hands and red sideburns and a broken-nosed grinHe (McMurphy) hadnt let what he looked like run his life one way or the other P. 140 The Chief knew there was more to McMurphy than what he was made out to be: a strong, arrogant, and rebellious. Yet, after being with McMurphy and seeing how he cared to help the other patients, the Chief grew closer to McMurphy and was astonished at his ability to stand up for what he believed in, which was to allow people happiness and freedom. By thinking so, McMurphy showed that his character is more than just standing up for what he believed but is geared toward helping the other patients enjoy life.
And that is one of his best characteristics. First Cheswic …