Use Of Christian Imagery In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Through Ken Kesey’s use of Christian imagery throughout One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but especially in this final section, Kesey allows McMurphy’s altruistic ways to shine through, giving the men of the ward a sense of individuality. Foremost, Kesey utilize a biblical reference when Bromden describes McMurphy as “a giant come out of the sky to save us from the Combine” (234). Bromden’s description is a direct reference to the second coming of Jesus Christ. In the book of Mark, it is described that “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:26). In this way, Kesey compares McMurphy to Christ’s second coming. The purpose of Christ’s second coming is to save His faithful believers from the …show more content…

Billy, in this way, is comparable to Peter, in that when he is confronted about his actions that McMurphy led him to complete, he denied them stating “They m-m-made me! Please, M-Miss Ratched, they may-may-MAY-!” (265). As an audience, we know this is not accurate, as Billy was proud of actions “[taking] the girl’s hand in his and [grinning],” proudly introducing her, stating “This is Candy” (263). Here, Kesey implements this Christian comparison to explain, that although McMurphy is leading these men to independence in the same way Christ led his disciples to live holy lives, there will always be someone who is not strong enough in themselves to stand their ground, and when faced with discrimination will deny their following. Another, arguably the most apparent, comparison Kesey implements is McMurphy’s metaphorical Last Supper. When McMurphy and his followers broke into the medicine on the ward, they then “sat around [together] drinking it” in a sort of metaphor to the drinking of wine, representative of Christ’s blood, that occurred during Jesus’ Last Supper with his

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