Mcmurphy In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

1734 Words7 Pages
Ted Bundy, an infamous serial killer in the 1970s, also volunteered at a suicide helpline. Using his manipulative personality, he convinced people to live. Although Bundy is better known for the dozens of women he murdered, he also made a positive impact on several people. As author Shinde Sweety said in her novel Arjun:Without a Doubt, “No person is completely wicked, just as no person is perfect. We are all grey.” Similarly, In the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, Randle Patrick McMurphy’s traits and actions blur the line between good and evil. McMurphy is committed to a mental institution in the late 1950s. There he challenges the control and dominance of the unmerciful Nurse Ratched. McMurphy’s traits show he is a flawed…show more content…
One reason has to do with his major addiction and skill in gambling. In order to fuel his gambling addiction, McMurphy seizes the opportunity he sees at the mental hospital. The patients are easy to hustle and beat while also providing him with an area of new turf that he has confidence in dominating. When McMurphy first enters the ward he says, "Then you tell Bull Goose Loony Harding that R.P. McMurphy is waiting to see him and that this hospital ain't big enough for the two of us. I'm accustomed to being topman”(Kesey, 21). Nurse Ratched notices his behavior and says, "‘that is exactly what the new patient is planning: to take over. He is what we call a 'manipulator,' Miss Flinn, a man who will use everyone and everything to his own ends’”(Kesey, 27). She believes McMurphy wants to manipulate others at the ward to get what he desires, which is complete control over the ward. The irony of this is that Nurse Ratched is the manipulator who rules with an iron fist, and McMurphy, although wishing to become the leader of the patients, does not hope to take over the hospital as Nurse Ratched has. A more prominent reason McMurphy is willing to go to the asylum is because he is weary of the farm work he had been sentenced to and looks to the insane asylum as an outlet. The staff is well aware of this and Nurse Ratched reads from McMurphy’s report, “Don't overlook the possibility that this man might be feigning psychosis to escape the drudgery of the work farm”(Kesey,45). His intention to come to the ward to escape his farm sentence reflects poorly on his character. At first McMurphy has multiple reasons for coming to the asylum including to gamble, gain power as a leader of the ward, and escape farm work which were all for his own personal gain, which make him appear as more of an antihero than a saintlike
Open Document