Essay about Hero of the Ward: Randle P. Mcmurphy

1413 Words Dec 28th, 2010 6 Pages
“With great power comes great responsibility” was the advice given to an all-time favourite superhero, Spiderman. However, a hero is not defined by the power one has but what one does with the power they are given. Power can come in a variety of forms such as wealth, physical capabilities or mental strength, and two powerful characters usually results in an epic battle for ultimate authority where one is seen as a hero and the other a villain. “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” written by Ken Kesey, tells the story of the battle between two strong-willed characters within a mental asylum, Randle P. McMurphy and the Big Nurse Ratched. Randle P. Murphy is seen as a hero to many of the male patients on the ward and in particular to Chief …show more content…
With McMurphy’s continuous outburst or rebellion, Nurse Ratched sentenced him to receive Electroshock Therapy, the second worse punishment patients would receive for misbehaviour. Determined to put on a strong exterior “he insisted it wasn’t hurting him. He wouldn’t even take his capsules. But every time that loudspeaker called him to forgo breakfast and prepare to walk to Building One, the muscles in his jaw went taunt and his whole face drained of colour, looking thin and scared-” (Kesey 241). Enduring the excruciating experience of Electroshock therapy only heightened the image the other men upheld for McMurphy and contributed to his heroism. Through the fight with the black boys and his fight to stay strong through Electroshock Therapy, McMurphy’s determination was evident to the other patients of the ward.
Determination is a critical quality needed by a hero; however a hero must also make sacrifices to achieve greatness. McMurphy is seen as a hero through the sacrifices he makes. McMurphy sacrificed any chance he had of being released from the asylum; he sacrificed his freedom. With full awareness of him being committed to the ward, McMurphy realised the magnitude of dependence the other men had on McMurphy. The men constantly look to him for reassurance and wanted to be just as self confident and opinionated. When McMurphy struggled with the knowledge of being
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