One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Randle Patrick McMurphy is an eccentric man. He chose to be confined in a mental institution rather than serve his sentence in jail. For most people, he may be considered a reject of the society, but for the patients of the all-male asylum he is in, Randle is an inspiration for change. His non-conformity and his antics could be likened to that of a miracle worker, because he’s able to bring life to the insane. The novel’s author, Ken Kesey compares Randle to Jesus, because in his own ways, he was able to profess a religion to the insane, a religion called life.
Continuing with the comparison between Randle McMurphy and Jesus, we know that Jesus was a holy man, revered for his ability to cure the sick and save the souls of the sinners. Randle was nowhere close to this, in fact, Randle himself is a sinner. He was found guilty of battery, and faked a mental illness in order to avoid jail time. Again, most of us will call him a reject of the society, a good for nothing nuisance none of us would care about. Randle and Jesus are of different leagues, and Randle doesn’t hide that. However, his confinement to the asylum exposed him to a different world.
This is not like the society he grew up in, the society that kicked him out. Randle may be a bad person in a normal society, but in place like this, it could be the other way around. In this new world, Randle may really be Jesus. Jesus is considered a savior because he died in order to save the souls of the people. His suffering was the salvation of many. On the other hand, Randle’s confinement to the asylum was the salvation he considers. He wouldn’t be placed in a normal prison cell just like any other criminals; instead he’ll be free of any obligations or tasks because he’s in a mental institution.
But life in the asylum wasn’t really his idea of escaping punishment. He is confronted with a world of manipulated people, puppets to a master in the form of the Big Nurse, nurse Ratched. In one incident, Randle states that “a peckin’ party can wipe out the whole flock in a matter of a few hours” referring to a group chickens pecking at each other until all of them are incapacitated (Kesey, 1962). Randle is amazed how they let other people manipulate them, even to the point of their loss of will and self-destruction.
Randle obviously didn’t like what he seen, and now, he aims to change all of this, even if it meant trying to change everyone in the asylum. Jesus is a miracle worker. He was able to cure a leper, bring a girl back to life, give sight to a blind man, and a lot more in a long list of miracles. Randle obviously can’t match this, but one thing is for sure: he, too, is a miracle worker. Through his antics and wild ways, he was able to gain the confidence of Chief Bromden, who pretended to be a deaf mute throughout his stay in the institution.
He was able to give new hope for Billy Bibbit, who loses his virginity to Randle’s prostitute friend. He was able to bring light to the asylum that everyone seemed to have given up hope on. Randle may not be as great as Jesus, but he’s just as motivational as him. Their ways may be different, but he sure did a great job in changing the unchangeable, which I think is really a big miracle. Jesus is the center of Christianity, and it is a feat that no one can probably match. However, Randle was also able to share to the people of the asylum a new religion: life.
Before Randle, they were all too “mentally ill” to care for about their lives. They didn’t have the confidence to do anything because they’re labeled incapable of doing normal things. Randle changed that. His short stay in the institution gave them hope, something that they could look forward to when they get better, an inspiration for them to get well and move on. Indeed, just like Jesus, Randle introduced them to life. References: Kesey, K. (1962). One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Viking Press & Signet Books.Sample Essay of StudyFaq.com