The novel, “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” by Ken Kesey features many references to Christ and the Christian religion. McMurphy the protagonist acts a leader, savior, and role model to the other characters. Kesey makes constant visual and symbolic referrals to Christ throughout the novel. Moreover, he utilizes McMurphy as a symbol of Christ when he leads and inspires the patients to embrace their masculinity and humanity against Nurse Ratchet’s cruelty. Kesey uses the symbolism to depict McMurphy as Christ and savior of the patients When McMurphy comes to the ward, he is baptized through a shower, symbolizing the baptism of Christ before commencing his mission on earth. The author introduces the readers to Ellis who foreshadows the future events. Chief Bromden who describes the state of patients in the mental institutions by saying that Ellis is a chronic “nailed against the wall in the same condition they lifted him off the table for the last time in the same shape, arms out, palms cupped” (Kesey 16). The author evokes the imagery of Christ where just like other patients going to therapy; McMurphy approaches the nurse and says, “I wash my hands of the whole deal” (Kesey 279). The phrase is similar to the words said to Pontius Pilate before sentencing Jesus. …show more content…
When Murphy is sent for the electroshock treatment in the shock room, he is laid on a table that resembles a cross. He says “Anointest my head with conductant. Do I get a crown of thorns?” (Kesey 283). The strapped table symbolizes the cross while the electric sparks on the head signify the thorns placed on the head of Christ during the crucifixion. Murphy gains authority and power when he refuses to apologize to Nurse Ratchet and is forced to receive the electroshock treatment, which symbolizes the death and resurrection of
He is big, loud, sexual, and confident, is an obvious foil for the quiet and intimidated Bromden and the sterile and mechanical Nurse Ratched. His loud, fee laughter stuns the other paitents, who have grown accustomed to repressed emotions. Throughout his introduction of the film, not a single voice rises to meet his. MacMurphy’s self-sacrifice on his behalf echoes himself on the cross to redeem humankind. He slowly gathers the patients around him as he increases his rebellion against Nurse Ratched.
A Christ Figure is a literary character whose actions are homogeneous with that of Jesus Christ. A Separate Peace, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Cool Hand Luke are all works that incorporate a Christ Figure as one of their characters. Some of the actions exhibited by these characters include the performing of miracles, a last supper, a death and resurrection, and the betterment of their fellow peers. Christ Figures in literature commonly perform a number of miracles, which their acolytes once viewed as infeasible. McMurphy, the Christ Figure in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. is placed on a hospital ward brimming with hopeless patients under the control of an authoritarian nurse.
Throughout, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, McMurphy teaches the patients how to revolt in order to oppose the Nurse’s extensive control with the Combine. He uses his Christ like attributes to allow them to work alone without his assistance and to make them realize their submission to the Nurse’s commandment isn’t necessary since they are men and not mental patients. As a result, McMurphy has conceded the men into controlling their own lives rather than the Nurse doing it for
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.
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.
This gives Nurse Ratched a special power over him because she is friends with Billy’s mother. Which causes Billy to have no authority over himself. He thinks everyone else has to be in charge, but never him. He doesn’t know how to take charge of himself. McMurphy, however, is the complete opposite.
In Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the main character, Randle Patrick McMurphy, is a perfect example of a tragic hero. Throughout the novel McMurphy sets himself up to be the tragic hero by resenting Nurse Ratched’s power and defending the other patients. He can be classified as a contemporary tragic hero, but he also includes elements of Aristotle’s tragic hero. McMurphy’s rebellious nature and ultimate demise are what truly makes him as a tragic hero.
After Jesus was crucified, he lay in his tomb for three days and then was resurrected. When he came across his disciples, they failed to recognize him. Once again, McMurphy symbolizes Jesus and the resurrection and McMurphy’s most dedicated followers, or Jesus’s disciples, cannot recognize the face of their savior. But, like Jesus on Easter Day, McMurphy must go to heaven as Chief Bromden lies on his body and suffocates McMurphy “until the thrashing stopped” (270). The ending of McMurphy’s life and his ascent to heaven demonstrates the conclusion of the Easter story allusion and the completion of the sacrifice to save the patients and allow them to feel as though they can leave the psychiatric ward and free themselves from the Combine and Nurse Ratched.
One man, George, was a germaphobe and was scared of being hosed off. McMurphy stands up for George and ends up getting into a fight with one of the aids. Bromden backs McMurphy up in the fight, so they both had to get EST treatment. As previously described, the table is shaped like a cross which helps prove that he is a Christ figure because Jesus was hung on a cross. Another instance where McMurphy is presented as a Christ figure is when Ratched found Billy Bibbit with Candy in the Seclusion room.
In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey uses the motif, Christ and Savior to find faults within society demonstrating that one should sacrifices oneself in order to save others from tyranny imposed by authority. In the beginning of the novel, the motif, Christ and Savior is not prevalent within the ward. However, as McMurphy appears, the figure of Christ and Savior starts to reveal by McMurphy’s actions. While the men think McMurphy is going to stand up for them against Big Nurse, he says, “I couldn’t figure it at first, why you guys were coming to me like I was some kind of savior.
Billy ends up killing himself after the betrayal just like Judas after the realization of what they did. These betrayal set in motion both their deaths and ultimately their legacy after death. The death of McMurphy helps free the patients of the reigns of the hospital set on them, like how Christ free his people from the price of their sins. Even though McMurphy in the novel was very greedy and self-motivated at times, the inclusion of these allusions help break down the hard exterior that had been painted on him, by showing the reader that there was more to him and he truly wanted to help these patients. Kesey connections to Christ and McMurphy helps give the transitions needed in the novel to come to the conclusion at the end of the novel that because of McMurphy, many patients are now able to live their lives without being constricted to the walls of this hospital, but follow their own true
There is no freedom amongst the people without a little chaos, yet to maintain order, there must be oppression towards its people. McMurphy upsets the established routine of the ward by bring his own agenda such as, asking for schedule changes and inspiring resistance during therapy sessions. He teaches his peers to have fun and encourages them to embrace their desires such as watching baseball and playing cards. “If somebody’d of come in and took a look, men watching a blank TV, a fifty-year –old woman hollering and squealing at the back of their heads about discipline and order and recriminations, they’d of thought the whole bunch was crazy as loons” (Kesey 134). He convinces them that not only are they sane like everyone else, but also they are men and they are superior to the matriarchal society they are put in.
A main theme in Ken Keesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is rebellion. In the book, rebellious actions by the main character, Randle Patrick McMurphy, representing the carnival side of society, goes against the Big Nurse who represent the strict chains of society. However, what I find ironic is the fact that a woman, in fact the most feminine character in the book, is the enemy or the oppressor. During the 1950’s this was the complete opposite. The feminist movement hadn’t taken a prominent standing yet and men were in power.
The novel No Country For Old Men, is written by the author Cormac McCarthy. The novel is about a man named Moss who finds money in a desert. Moss is chased by multiple different drug cartel groups as well as a very skilled assassin named Chigurh. McCarthy takes the reader on a long journey into his story on the run. Towards the end Moss is assassinated by Chigurh.
The movie was mostly focused on the feud between the warden/nurse Ms. Ratched and McMurphy. McMurphy tried to go against the hard-set plan set by the institution. More he tried to establish dominance and leadership within the group. This threatened the nurse’s ways of subduing patients, and they felt of less importance in their own institution. This led to a bitter rivalry and because of it the nurse tried to subdue, with same techniques as with other patients, McMurphy even after realizing that he was not a mentally unstable person.