One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest By Ken Kesey

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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

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