Free Essays brought to you by

McMurphy as Hero of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest


A hero is considered to be any man noted for courage or nobility of Purpose; especially, one who has risked or sacrificed his life. In Ken Kesey's novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the reader can see how McMurphy is a prime example of a hero. McMurphy's strength embodies a heroic devotion to the other acutes on the ward.


There were no heroes on the psychiatric ward until McMurphy's arrival. McMurphy gave the patients courage to stand against a truncated concept of masculinity, such as Nurse Ratched. For example, Harding states, "No ones ever dared to come out and say it before, but there is not a man among us that does not think it. That doesn't feel just as you do about her, and the whole business feels it somewhere down deep in his sacred little soul." McMurphy did not only understand his friends/patients, but understood the enemy who portrayed evil, spite, and hatred. 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.


Even though McMurphy's own sacrifice of life is the price of his victory, he still attempts to push the ward patients to hold thier own personal opinions and fight for what is ethically right. For instinace, McMurphy states, "But I tried though,' he says. 'Goddammit, I sure as hell id that much, now didn't I?" McMurphy strains to bring the 'fellas' courage and determination in a place full of inadequacy and "perfection." McMurphy obtains a lot of courage in maintaining his own sort of personal integrity, and trying to keep the guys' intergrity and optimistic hope up. Besides, McMurphy coping with his own battles, some of the other characters look-up to him to conquer there corrals. For example, Cheswick says, " I just wish something mighta been done, though, and dove into the water." Cheswick's own particular out come shapes McMurphy into the man that gives his life to better happiness for his friend. McMurphy is the one strong male that can defend all of the weaker ones.


Randle McMurphy lost his life courageously. He had several chances to save himself, but chose instead to stay and help his fellow patients. McMurphy is the hero of this novel because he stood firmly against oppresive powers, showing bravery defending the other patients and ultimately paying with his life.


Partner sites: Free Essays and Term Papers