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Theme Of Allusions In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, Randle Patrick McMurphy, the protagonist, leads a rebellion within a mental institution and helps the patients learn the importance of self-worth and not conforming to rules that violate their natural rights. Kesey employs many biblical allusions in the novel that serve to build deeper meaning of the character McMurphy, who on the surface comes off as harsh and unpleasant at times to the reader. However, he is key in helping bring real change to everyone in the hospital. By alluding to the bible to establish Randle McMurphy as a Christ-like figure in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Kesey is able to soften the hard edges of McMurphy, which is essential in the novel because it is ultimately…show more content…
McMurphy holds a party full of alcohol mixed cough syrup, “Artificial flavor, coloring, citric acid..seventy percent inert materials..and twenty per cent alcohol”(252) and the two prostitutes Candy and Sandy. In the morning Nurse Ratched catches them and Billy Bibbit blames McMurphy and claims it was all his idea, “And M-M-McMurphy..they teased me, called me things”(264). The party and Billy’s betrayal is an allusion to Christ’s last supper and shortly after like the party Juda betrayal to Christ. 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
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