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One Flew over the Cukos Nest Essay

There are several interesting and complex characters throughout One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. Two of the most fascinating are the book’s main protagonist, Randle McMurphy, and antagonist, Nurse Ratched. Randle is definitely my favorite characters, while Nurse Ratched is my least favorite. Randle McMurphy, was sane man who was pretending to be insane in order to avoid being incarcerated in prison. He is my favorite character due to the way he matures throughout the book and stands up for what he believes in.

At the onset of the story, he is a loud, boorish man who is convicted of battery, a seemingly hopeless cause. However, as the book progresses, he begins to change the lives of the patients in the insane asylum in which he resides by showing them how to take revenge on Nurse Ratched. He even gives one man enough courage to break out of the ward, which he was unrightfully imprisoned in, and start his life anew. This shows the heroism that Randall possessed despite being a convicted felon, and why he was my favorite character.

Nurse Ratched, the head nurse of the ward and oppressor of the patients, was undoubtedly my least favorite character in the story. Throughout the book, she relentlessly tortured the patients mentally unless they did exactly what she said. When Randall arrived at the ward, he convinced the patients that she could be defeated, and instills new hope in the asylum. Nurse Ratched hears of this, and she eventually gives Randall a lobotomy, rendering him unable to speak, and effectively ending his ability to unite the patients.

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This shows that Nurse Ratched was clearly the most despicable character in the book which was why she was my least favorite character. In One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, there were many complex characters that could be analyzed for their good qualities as well as their bad. However, Randall plainly sticks out for his selflessness towards the other patients, while Nurse Ratched is notable for her nearly inhumane cruelty toward those patients.

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