OneFlewOvertheCuckoosNest-McMurpheyasaChristFigure

OneFlewOvertheCuckoosNest-McMurpheyasaChristFigure - AP...

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AP English Polivka 23 November 2010 Details Are Insignificant Religion is one of the most sensitive and personal topics people discuss. The majority of religions are based on faith. This is the basis for the beauty of religion as well as the argument against it. Religious or not, the basic stories of the world’s largest religion, Christianity, are part of culture. The basic Christ image is outlined by these stories and people take them differently. Ken Kesey’s R.P. McMurphy of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest might not be the ideal Christ figure, but it is incontrovertible that he is put in the same light. Not only are there blatant parallels between McMurphy and Christ but they also serve similar purposes for those whom they influence. The images Ken Kesey paints in his novel are so obvious it is impossible to ignore the Christ-like relationship. McMurphy’s initial appearance is not the typical kind-eyed man with a pretty brown beard. His short and stocky build followed by his red hair clash with the usual Jesus image. However, McMurphy’s hands are described as “beat up” with “carbon under the fingernails... there was an anchor tattooed back from the knuckles, peeling up at the edge. All the rest of the knuckles were covered with scars and cuts, old and new...the palm was smooth and hard as bone...The palm was callused, and the calluses were cracked, and dirt was worked in the cracks” (16,27). There are not specific holes such as Jesus had as the stigmata but just like Christ, McMurphy’s hands are a significant part of his description. Aside from his physical description, there are many instances where McMurphy shows Christ-like behavior. Although McMurphy’s influence over the Acute patients is much greater than the Chronic patients, McMurphy’s self-introductions to each of the men shows that he does not discriminate (25-28). Not only does he introduce himself to everyone but he also shakes every body's hand. There are numerous stories involving Jesus healing someone by simply touching them. The first major instance of McMurphy’s godly powers is demonstrated through Chief Bromden. McMurphy gives Chief a pack of gum and Chief said “Thank you” before he even realized what he was doing (185). McMurphy was the first person to treat Chief as a
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