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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Author: Ken Kesey

1255 words - 5 pages

The major character in "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" is R.P. Mc Murphy. The story is set in a mental hospital and there are a number of minor characters who are the acute patients in the ward. It is the interaction of Mc Murphy with minor characters which cause to change and gives the reader an understanding of Mc Murphy's character. At the beginning of the novel Mc Murphy arrives in the ward, he has been convicted of violence and sentenced to a prison work farm. He manipulated the situation there so he can get himself committed, and thus a better life. Mc Murphy is a redheaded, loudmouthed swaggering cowboy who says "I am a gambling man with a zest for woman and cards". The idea of setting up gambling groups with the other men was for the purpose of getting their money, which makes him a self-centered, sane, powerful, greedy and self-serving at the beginning. At the end of the novel he is a helpless vegetable, having sacrificed himself for the benefit of all the patients. He turned out to be a leader, liberal, generous and self-sacrificing. An important minor character is Chief Bromden because he is the narrator, it is his development, narration and perception of the situation that reveals Mc Murphy's character. Bromden's perceptions in the novel makes it clear to the reader how he has grown and gained confidence through out the novel. "It doesn't seem like I have ever been me. How can Mc Murphy be what he is?" This quote shows how Chief Bromden is experiencing and reacting to the thought that Mc Murphy has the ability to express his "real" self rather than hiding it. Bromden pretends to be "deaf and dumb" but then his character builds up with the help of Mc Murphy who asserts his individuality and making him assume the leadership role in the end. Mc Murphy's first encounter with the therapeutic group where he saw how the patients allowed themselves to be intimidated and humiliated shocked him: "Is this usual pro-cedure for these group The'rpy shin-digs? Bunch of chickens at a peckin' party?" The situation was awkward to Mc Murphy and Big Nurse is not helping, she says she is "….working towards making worthwhile citizens to turn back onto the street," but what she really wants is control and authority over them. As Mc Murphy quickly realizes what and how things are happening in this insane place he assumes leadership, leading those pathetic men to freedom and individuality even if it means tackling Big Nurse to reach that peak. As the confrontations between Mc Murphy and Nurse Ratched provide entertainment for the patients, however Mc Murphy's insubordination soon stimulates the rest of them into rebellion. An example of this is the World Series event. Mc Murphy wants Big Nurse to change the working schedule so they can watch it.By now Mc Murphy has a great deal of knowledge of Big Nurse's reaction to his request and knows the answer well before-hand. This is not why he does this but his knowledge...

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2803 words - 11 pages Health Patients up to Four Times More Likely to Be Infected with HIV, Penn Medicine Study Finds." Penn News. Ed. Michael B. Blank. Pennsylvania: n.p., 2013. 1. Print. Jefferson, Thomas. "Declaration of Independence." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, 4th July 1776. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. Kesey, Ken. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, a Novel. New York: Viking, 1962. Print. Quay, George. "Admission to a psychiatric hospital." Citizens Information. Public Service Information, 22 June 2010. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. .

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