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Cause of his death

Uploaded by Chenkayan on Jul 27, 2004

The role of the hero in Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, is played by Randle P. McMurphy, a wrongly committed mental patient with a lust for life. McMurphy’s personal qualities that gain the respect and admiration from his fellow patients are also responsible for his tragic downfall. These qualities include his temper, which is the reason for the tension between him and nurse Ratched; his stubbornness, which results in his numerous painful disciplinary treatments; also his free spirit, which leads to his death. Even though McMurphy is a good man, in the end, these characteristics hurt him more than they help him.

Throughout the novel, McMurphy shows that he has a wild temper. The first group meeting that he is involved in, he shows his irritation. This is when nurse Ratched comments by saying “And you? With your red hair and black record? Why delude yourself" (Kesey 68). This shows that McMurphy is already seen as a man with a temper after only one day on the ward. This temper helps him in his battle with nurse Ratched for control of the mental ward. However, his temper eventually works against him. Upon McMurphy’s arrival to the ward he tells the patients that he is a con man and a gambler. One of his first bets with the other patients is to see if he can put “a bee in nurse Ratched’s butt, a burr in her bloomers. Get her goat. Bug her till she comes apart at those neat little seams” (Kesey, 69). McMurphy makes this bet after he learns about the Disturbed Ward where “assaultives” are sent, and also about the “shock shop” where Electro-Shock Therapy is administered to disobedient patients. Since McMurphy does not like losing, he wants to be certain that he can get away with harassing nurse Ratched without receiving any of these punishments. He is told by his fellow patient, “as long as you don’t lose your temper and give her actual reason to request the restriction of the Disturbed Ward, or the therapeutic benefits of the electro-shock you are safe” (Kesey 76). This shows that his fellow patients know that he has a temper problem. McMurphy displays this temper from the starting of the novel, but one incident finally gets him into trouble. The argument McMurphy has with the black helps and the nurse Ratched, a punch is thrown and a...

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Uploaded by:   Chenkayan

Date:   07/27/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   5 pages (1,071 words)

Views:   1456

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