Tuesday, January 14, 2014

McMurphy Characterization

           Another one of our essay prompts was to write about what we think about McMurphy's decision to keep fighting back at the Nurse even though he knows that she can keep him in there for as long as she likes. There isn't much to say that isn't in my essay, so here it is.

  McMurphy just made a huge decision. He knows that he could stay in the hospital for life,
and he just possibly made that his fate. He punched the window in the front of the Nurse's station,
but not only that, he took cigarettes. All of this was after he found out that the nurse could keep him
in the hospital for as long as she thought was "necessary," but he thought it was still something that
he needed to do.
I think that he did this because he doesn't want to give in to the Combine. He wants to show
them who's boss, and wants to set an example for other patients to show them that they control their
own life. When he said that the window was "so spotless he forgot it was there," he was symbolizing
the Nurse's control over them. He was showing that her control is sometimes so invisible that they
forget she's controlling them, so she can do whatever she wants to the patients. McMurphy was
symbolizing the breaking of that control by punching it out.
McMurphy seems to have gotten over the fact that the Nurse can keep him in for life,
because if he was worried about it still he wouldn't have done something that serious. I think that he
has become less selfish, because nobody that was worried about something happening to them
would do something like that. He sacrificed his chance to get out of the ward to help other people
take control of their life. This was a very selfless act of martyrdom, and people have started to show
less respect for the Nurse.
My prediction is that McMurphy will continue to act this way and try his best to be a good
example of sticking up for yourself until he can't anymore. I believe that the Nurse is going to try
electroshock therapy on McMurphy, but it's not going to effect him. It usually takes more than a few
times for it to really set in to people, unless they give in to it. But McMurphy isn't that type of person.
He's a leader


  1. I really like this piece I fell like you really captured both sides of the nurse and McMurphy.

  2. Hi Cooper! I really liked how you started the prompt off by explaining what happened, and then ending it with your prediction. Again, you had excellent word choice, and showed original thought - good job!

  3. I thought you used great description in is piece. Your connections to the things McMurphy does and the way the nurse acts are very symbolic. I like how passionately you write. Is your opinion on the nurse still the same now that you know how the book ends?

  4. I've read a few different posts on this topic now. I too like how you structured yours. You may give McMurphy a little more credit than is due, but I like your take that he's breaking through Nurse Ratched's sometimes ruthless, irrational power. She is so strongly evil and pathetic at the same time. I like that you're standing behind him and view his behavior as leadership even though it leads to his demise. Great exploration and independent thinking. Classic Jack Nicholson in the movie!