Examples Of Mcmurphy In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Michael Gugliotta English 3 Honors 10/22/15 Mrs. English Savior of the Patients Who would have thought the new patient, McMurphy, would be the person who saves the other patients? In Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, McMurphy’s impact on the patients is evident. Before his arrival, the patients were under the strict rule of Nurse Ratched. They did not know how to stop her anger. McMurphy, like the other patients, is also mentally unstable and has made questionable decisions in the past. Despite McMurphy's alleged flaws, he inspires the men with a rebellious attitude, helps the patients increase their confidence, and make the patients realize they have a place in life outside of the ward. Although the patients never express their …show more content…

After McMurphy’s arrival, the patients begin to open up more. He interacts with them by playing cards, betting, or just telling them a story about his life. The patients find McMurphy interesting and realize he is helping them in whatever way he can. He attempts to help many of the patients, including Bibbit, Harding, and others, but most importantly Chief. Chief reveals to McMurphy that he is not deaf and dumb. Everyone thinks he is, and Chief just goes along with it. Also, Chief might have PTSD from his experience during war. This may hold him back from standing his ground and showing his true self. McMurphy wants Chief’s help in overthrowing the hierarchy Ratched has established in order to help himself and the other patients. McMurphy convinces Chief to help lift the control panel and, “You (Chief) promise me that, and you not only get my body- buildin ' course for nothing but you get yourself a ten-buck fishin trip, free!”(191). McMurphy wants Chief to bulk up so he can help him lift the panel. Although it may seem selfish, McMurphy would help Chief become a stronger person physically and mentally, but it would also benefit the other patients. If Chief is able to lift it, it would limit Ratched's power because the control panel symbolizes the influence she has over the patients. McMurphy is also letting Chief go on the fishing trip for free. The fishing trip is a special occasion …show more content…

McMurphy tries to instill this idea into the patients and hopes they could make a clean transition to life outside the institution. When McMurphy develops a strong relationship with the patients, he notices that the staff labels most of them as mentally challenged. Due to their lack of confidence and self-respect, the patients are never able to truly act like themselves. They feel limited because of their poor treatment. The patients have the opportunity to leave the ward, but choose not to because they are comfortable in their environment. McMurphy makes the patients realize they all have a purpose in life. He preaches this to Billy and Chief the most. Billy’s only limitations are his stutter and the fact he is still taking orders from his mother. Once McMurphy sees this, he questions "why? Why You're just a young guy (Billy)...why do you stand for it"(167). Billy proves on the fishing trip he would be able to survive in the outside world. He does not stutter and has a good time with Candy. McMurphy is mad with Billy and the other patients for not leaving the ward. This annoys McMurphy because he realizes these men are not all mentally challenges and would be able to succeed outside of the ward. He notices if they believe in themselves and are confident, they would be able to live a better life. Before

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