OneFlewOvertheCuckoosNest-McMurpheyasaChristFigure

Pilate even gave jesus the option to recant but jesus

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believed in him carried on his message forever. Pilate even gave Jesus the option to recant but Jesus denied as well (Matthew 27). McMurphy fights the power of Nurse Ratched through the entirety of the book and even when she takes his life away through a lobotomy, the men of the ward continue to live by him. The men see him as a man of miracles. He changed the regular system and challenged Nurse Ratched. Chief even believed that McMurphy had truly made him as big as he used to be. Chief has obviously never changed in size but his perception of himself had and that is what is important. All of the men see McMurphy in this glorious light just as the followers of Jesus have always seen him. Ken Kesey throws direct biblical images into the novel that make it impossible to deny the relationship between McMurphy and Jesus Christ. McMurphy is Christ for the men on the ward. He is their Christ just as Jesus is the Christ for Christians. The true motives for McMurphy
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are irrelevant. The true motives for everything Jesus did are irrelevant in the same way. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is told from Chief’s perspective which is ultimately biased towards McMurphy. The Bible was written by the followers of Jesus, making it near impossible to not be biased towards Jesus. The true facts of Jesus are not important to the Christian faith. Theoretically, the entire Bible could be made up. However, it is the message from the Bible that is important. The way people perceived Jesus in his time is what has carried on into the largest religion in the world. Jesus gave his people something to believe in just as McMurphy does. Nurse Ratched says, “He isn’t extraordinary. He is simply a man and no more, and is subject to all the fears and all the cowardice and all the timidity that any other man is subject to” (136). This could be the truth about McMurphy as well as of Jesus but perception is everything. McMurphy even says, “I couldn’t figure it out at first, why you guys were coming to me like I was some kind of savior” (166). The men perceived McMurphy as amazing and the followers of Jesus perceived him as amazing as well. Both groups of people go on to better themselves in the name of Jesus/McMurphy. McMurphy is their Christ.
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Christopher Reinemann
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