One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Essay

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Essay

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In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, R.P. McMurphy is not a typical patient stuck in a ward. In fact, McMurphy is one idiosyncratic patient that no one in the ward has ever encountered. But throughout the book, he becomes an innate leader and a “martyr” for the other patients in the book, much like Christ in the Bible. Christ is an intended symbol that the author, Ken Kesey, uses in this book. McMurphy acts like Christ in the book—a model and leader for his disciples, the other patients. He tries to free the other patients from Nurse Ratched, the psychotic, inhumane leader of them all. He “fights” Nurse Ratched by becoming a leader for the other patients so that they may have hope that they can make it out of this ward still sane, despite what Nurse Ratched has done to them to brainwash them into believing that she is a good, caring leader who can be trusted. It is right in that case to associate him with a powerful, and worshipped leader such as Christ. However, McMurphy is not a Christ-figure due to his violent, sexual and seemingly amoral behavior throughout the book, despite all the things that make him seem worthy to be compared to Christ. Christ is a sinless, holy being. That one detail may seem insignificant to some, but it is actually the stripped down reason, the core reason, why McMurphy is not like Christ. McMurphy’s weakness to gamble excessively, his want to rebel without reason, and his desire to do risqué behavior, sins which he commits, conclude that McMurphy is not a figure similar to Christ.

While McMurphy's actions and attitudes seem Christ like, soon, the book introduces McMurphy’s habits of gambling. Some of his Messianic qualities are clear even before the reader gets through half of the book. It is hinte...


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...ell as money.
In the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, one can deduce that McMurphy is not a Christ-like figure because he is a gambling man; he is a recalcitrant man who has few, if any, extenuating reasons for his rebellion; and he is a superficial man who engages in risqué, ungodly behaviors. His want to gamble in silly childish games reinforces the fact that he is so obsessed with material possession and wanting more in this life. His absurd “reasons” to rebel in the ways that he does, such as eating in front of the workers, makes him not godly. And his want for physical, amoral pleasure from prostitutes and from the wrong people make him a corrupt being, which Christ cannot be. And although many analogies mention Christ in this book, stripping down McMurphy’s actions to their core suggests otherwise that McMurphy is nowhere close to a Christ-like figure.

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