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One Flew Over The Cuckoo

’s Nest – Hero Essay, Research Paper One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Hero A hero is considered to be any man noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose;

’s Nest – Hero Essay, Research Paper

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Hero

A hero is considered to be any man noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose;

especially, one who has risked or sacrificed his life. This describes one of the main

characters in the highly acclaimed novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken

Kesey. Randle McMurphy is the hero of this novel because he stood firmly against

oppressive powers, showing courage and ultimately paying with his life. There were no

heroes on the psychiatric ward before McMurphy’s arrival. Nurse Ratched wielded

supreme power. No single patient had the ability to stand against the injustices to which

they were subjected. McMurphy united these patients. He gave them collective courage

and a sense that they could resist their persecutor. For example, Harding states, “No one’s

ever dared to come out and say it before, but there’s not a man among us that doesn’t think

it. That doesn’t feel just as you do about her and the whole business-feel it somewhere

down deep in his scared little soul.” Not only did McMurphy unite his friends, the patients;

but he understood the enemy, the staff. He recognized the ultimate authority and

oppressive power of those in charge of the psychiatric ward. He also knew that to resist

them would put himself at great personnel risk. McMurphy, however, took the risk and

defended his fellow patients. For example, McMurphy says to the black boy who is

harassing George, “I said that’s enough buddy.” McMurphy knew this confrontation would

have harsh consequences, but he took the chance. In fact McMurphy took one too many

chances. This hero’s end comes when he lashes out at nurse Ratched, blaming her for the

death of Billy Bibbit. McMurphy demonstrated his feeling for Billy by his emotional

reaction to his death, “First Charles Cheswick and now William Bibbit! I hope you’re

finally satisfied. Playing with human lives-gambling with human lives-as if you thought

yourself to be God!” This outburst results in McMurphy having a lobotomy and later

dying. In conclusion, Randle McMurphy lost his life courageously defending the other

patients. McMurphy had several chances to save himself, but chose instead to stay and

help his fellow patients. McMurphy is a true hero and his acts of bravery and selfless

behavior prove this.

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