Hero In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

967 Words4 Pages
Commonly the protagonist of a story is the hero, showing the typical characteristics of bravery, strength, and ingenuity, while always undertaking dangerous tasks to help others. However, there are different kinds of heroes, who range in their attributes. An anti-hero has both good and bad qualities to their character and generally has moral flaws. The personality of anti-heroes is more of a villainous nature and is the character of a story that is more relatable. R.P. McMurphy from Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of literature’s favourite characters and is a classic example of an anti-hero. His character is not perceived as the heroic type in the beginning of the novel, yet by the end of the story the reader will realise…show more content…
McMurphy. Achilles thinks he is invincible, much like McMurphy, and wants to be remembered. Achilles refuses to compromise his values, even for his own people, simply because his honour was insulted. Due to Achilles’ arrogance, his cousin, Patroklos, was killed when taking his place in battle. Achilles ignored the possible consequences that could come with his arrogance, relating back to McMurphy. He disregarded the consequences that could come with his actions on the ward, such as when he learnt that he did not have the freedom to leave at any time, unlike the other patients, and that Nurse Ratched could give him electro-shock therapy whenever she wanted to. After learning this, McMurphy held himself back from causing any trouble. Both Achilles and McMurphy exhibit the qualities of an anti-hero, especially the violent tendencies. Achilles is exceptionally violent and merciless; he kills his enemies in the most ruthless way to show his greatness. McMurphy shares these violent inclinations, displaying them when he strangles Nurse Ratched and starts the fight in the shower with the aides. The violence McMurphy expresses becomes increasingly detrimental as the story goes on, climaxing at the fight with the…show more content…
As mentioned previously, a classic anti-hero does not necessarily do things for good, but rather for themselves. Hans Solo is clearly driven by wealth, and would only do things if he were getting paid. This is similar to McMurphy when he gambles with the other patients in the ward, because he knows that he will win the bet, and ends up taking money and cigarettes from the patients. Hans Solo liked to be in charge, to be the leader, and to be in control of situations, much like McMurphy. McMurphy tried to alter the system of the ward to his advantage, such as moving the television time so that he could watch the World Series, and when he persuaded the nurse to allow him and other patients to play poker in an empty room. Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest whilst taking part in a US Army study where he took mind-altering drugs and worked as an aide in a hospital’s psychiatric ward. His experiences bought the story to life, focusing on the theme of conformity and creating the idea of Randle P McMurphy. The world needed anti-heroes in fiction, because normal heroes were no longer relatable in the flawed and war stuck society. Kesey delivered the perfect anti-hero in R.P. McMurphy, writing a timeless story that will be cherished by many for several generations to
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