One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Mcmurphy Tragic Hero Analysis

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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.
A tragic hero must be fundamentally good but have a fatal flaw that ultimately leads to their downfall. McMurphy truly was a fundamentally good person.. Throughout the course of the novel, he grew to really care about the other patients on the ward. In the beginning he annoyed Nurse Ratched solely for his own benefit and entertainment. As time went on he realized he needed to stand up for the other men on the ward. He did not like how they were being treated by the powerful, controlling Nurse Ratched and they weren’t doing anything about it. He knew he was the only one who was strong enough to stand up to her and try to change things. He then made it his mission to take down Nurse Ratched for the sake of the whole ward. A fatal flaw that leads to the downfall of a tragic hero is specifically called hamartia. In McMurphy’s case, his
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It can’t be caused by anyone else, an accident, or a twist of fate. McMurphy’s downfall was brought about by his own actions. If he just sat back and did nothing none of this would have ever happened. The final action taken by McMurphy that really sent Nurse Ratched over the edge was when he ripped open her shirt and tried to choke her after the party. He acted completely by his own free will and let all his built up emotions take over. After this Nurse Ratched sent him for a lobotomy and his chances of winning the battle with her were

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