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Biblical Allusions in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

            " "You of little faith," he said, "Why did you doubt?"" (Bible, Matthew 14:31). Matthew quotes Jesus in this biblical passage questioning a man who didn't believe in him. Jesus delivers a valid point, through the scripture, that the power of one individual should not be doubted - especially one as radical as he. A person can use there differences to strike people's attention. Sometimes this is not seen, because society settles for conformity. However, a person who is willing to challenge that community can truly be heard and make and impact. This very point can be clearly seen in Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest where Kesey actually alludes the story of Christ. The protagonist Randle McMurphy, a new admission to the psych ward during the late 1950s, with his free-spirited attitude is able to change the patients" conformist ways and completely restructure their small community within the ward. He accomplishes this by gaining the Acute patients as followers and slowly taking away attention and power from the head nurse, Nurse Ratched. Kesey uses both characterization and symbolism to employ the idea that imbalance within a conformist civilization or culture can essentially cause a complete societal breakdown, in addition by alluding to the life of Christ he is able to actually show the process of this breakdown.
             Throughout the novel Kesey uses his characters as symbols of biblical figures depicting the life of Jesus in order to support the belief that a small imbalance caused by one person can lead to mass destruction within a tyrannical society. In the ward community which represents the Holy Land, McMurphy is portrayed as the figure of Christ. Before McMurphy set foot in the hospital there was a set structure that everyone followed. Nurse Ratched ran the show and all of the patients knew that and obeyed. However, once Randle McMurphy was brought into the picture everything changed.

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