Review Of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest By Ken Kesey

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a book written by Ken Kesey. Kesey portrays the leading character R.P McMurphy to be an anti-hero much like many other famous anti-heroes including Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Achilles and Romeo. Throughout the journey of these anti-heroes numerous things occur which are the fundamentals that make them an anti-hero including hamartia, peripeteia and to seek redemption for the greater good of society. Kesey also uses these to help portray R.P McMurphy as an anti-hero. If these characters can be portrayed as an anti-hero by these principles then McMurphy must also be seen as an anti-hero. Hamartia is the tragic flaw that every anti-hero will obtain which will eventually lead to his/her downfall. Kesey portrays …show more content…

In order for Kesey to enable McMurphy to fix the system he needed McMurphy to ‘break’ Nurse Ratched. Kesey enabled McMurphy to do this by pushing all the rules, eventually exposing Nurse Ratched to the rest of the patients to prove she is only a woman and does not have the power over the patient's. Kesey then shows how determined McMurphy is to help the patients as McMurphy has the opportunity to leave and save himself but instead stays which inevitably kills himself but saves the patients on the ward. This sacrifice is what an anti-hero does sacrifices himself for the benefit of the other people around them. Kesey included this sacrifice for the greater good of the patients as it truly does show how McMurphy is an anti-hero as his intentions changed from being selfish to caring about his friends in the ward and putting their lives and future above his. Shakespeare's tragic play Hamlet also had something similar occur in his play but instead of redemption Hamlet was seeking revenge for his father. Therefore if Hamlet is accepted as an anti-hero as he seeked revenge then McMurphy must also be accepted as an anti-hero as he seeked

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