One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Religious Analysis

1314 Words6 Pages
Religious images and references appear in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s, yet not in purest forms. Sinful actions fill this book. There remains, in this text a strong religious reference to Christ and his crucifixion, from the very event of crucifixion, to relevant events in his life. The basis behind these references show McMurphy as a representation of Christ, who comes to the ward in an attempt to free the patients from the Combine and their mental illnesses. Evidence of a religious theme consisting mainly of Christ-like associations is seen early on in the book. Through the Chief’s description of the ward, he observed the chronic Ellis, “…nailed against the wall…arms out, palms cupped.” His fate illustrates the effect the combine has on the patients of the ward, and foreshadows the fate of anyone who comes to cross it. McMurphy comes into the scene of the ward as an outsider; not fitting in with the rest of the patients. He has an air of confidence and leadership, compared to the weak and quiet residents of the ward.…show more content…
The other patients finally had the courage to sign themselves out of the hospital, or at least of the ward. In addition, the doctors as well no longer feared her. However, McMurphy suffered for these changes, for he returned to the ward lobotomized. This left him much like the other vegetables, unresponsive, white faced and staring blankly. He chose this fate, for it was necessary to overcome the power of the nurse; to release her grasp on the patients of the ward. The Nurse left voiceless and now could not hide her womanhood; her power over the patients lost. McMurphy, like Christ, suffered for the patients of the ward; he suffered to overcome the evil presence of Nurse Ratched. He became a sacrificial victim for the people, allowing them to regain self-confidence and sanity. McMurphy is a man of Christ like ideals; he sins as a man would, but suffers for the people as Christ
Open Document