Protagonist In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

2030 Words 9 Pages
Hard to miss yet easy to pass by.
Any story’s development depends on two characters- protagonist and antagonist. A protagonist is the leading character who undergoes changes throughout the novel, and the antagonist is the one who promotes these changes. In the novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey presents the whole story from the point of view of the protagonist Chief Bromden, a giant but bullied and fearful indian. Although he is not the central technically the central figure, in many ways he can be seen as the protagonist. Ken Kesey uses Bromden as the protagonist to show us the dramatic changes in the novel, promoted by the antagonist Randle Patrick McMurphy., a work farm criminal. Despite his giant body, Chief believes himself
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The morning of the trip, Chief sees his name at the bottom and knows he did not sign himself up. Chief being the only chronic on the list, decides to set sail with the acutes anyways. On the fishing trip the men finally realize what it’s like to be on their own and do stuff solely for themselves. McMurphy teaches them that he cannot do everything for them and no one will ever do everything for them in life. Chief realizes that there is only so much McMurphy can do for him and men, so they must not be prey anymore instead the predator. “While McMurphy laughs. Rocking farther and farther backward against the cabin top….” (part 3) Harding has crashed into the log, startling everyone besides McMurphy, who laughs. This is the first laugh the men have heard while being at the asylum for years and are a bit confused. He seems to laugh at the things that hurt him the most, similar to the phrase “laughing to keep from crying.” The laughter symbolizes sanity and the refusal to conform to the clutches of the Combine, and by the end of the fishing trip the men are not the same men they were when they docked out. By the end of the fishing trip the men are able to laugh with McMurphy, showing the reader a sign of the patients physical and psychological change. Through the laughter the men are able exhibit how much their conditions have improved. Kesey uses this fishing trip to symbolize the men gaining back their sense of manhood and feeling of being human again. Due to McMurphy’s guidance, the men have started to escape the fog that they once thought they would be stuck in forever and remain from being the scared, bullied, and defeated “rabbits” they once

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