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Cuckoo Nest Essay

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Submitted By sozzi220
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When looking at a tragic hero, the first thing that comes to mind is a type of character that starts as a low key person, and then becomes relevant person within society. In the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, the mail McMurphy is a god like human in the minds of the other patients and gives them life as his time dwindles at the institution. Someone in my mind that reminds me of McMurphy is Barry Bonds. In his life, he started his career as a one of the most looked at players until he was tested positive for steriods. Randall McMurphy and Barry Bonds share the character traits of determination, arrogance, and isolation. To begin, the up forth of R.P McMurphy and Barry Bonds’s glory came to be from the determination they have to be the best at what they do. McMurphy, along the road for his rise amongst the patients at the home, could not have happened if it was not for the lack of enthusiasm he saw in the faces of the people he was with every day of his life at the institution. “Damn, what a sorry-looking outfit. You boys don’t look so crazy to me” (Kesey 19). McMurphy knows these men have been dragged down for being in the institution and believes in himself to help them. One way he gets them to see how his personality is, is by loosening them up and trying to me them feel better about themselves. In comparison to Barry Bonds, the way he went up in the ladder was by playing the game of baseball how every American loved to watch it be played, with lots of homeruns. He uses his great ability to play the game and becomes instantly motivated to become better and better at the game he so dearly loves. “By year’s end he led the National League rookies in home runs, runs batted in, stolen bases, and walks”(Biography 3). This could be the defining moment in his career, showing off as a rookie and proving to himself how anxious he was to be a contender for the top spot with the great ball players of that time. Unfortunately, McMurphy and Barry Bonds had to face a lot of difficulties on the road they took. After all the energy that McMurphy used to help the patients, his time ultimately came to a close. Nurse Ratched saw his plan in action over his time at the institution and made him pay the ultimate price. Nurse Ratched gave him a lobotomy, or in other words, turned him into a vegetable. “They pushed it into the day room and left it standing the wall, along with the other vegetables” (Kesey 321). McMurphy does not overcome this action set against him and ultimately loses faith. This path was not only lead by McMurhphy, yet Barry Bonds saw his fame crash right before his eyes in an instance. All of his fame was “cut off” when he took his road to the top a little too seriously. To improve his game, Bonds sought out to take under the radar steroids that could not be caught on a test, but he was caught. “On May 28, 2006, Bonds hit his 715th home run and passed Babe Ruth to reach second place behind Aaron on the all-time home run list. In July of 2006 a federal grand jury declared to indict Bonds for steroid use” (Biography 5). This action was a huge downfall for his career and many of his own fans took action to seeing if this was true. To make it even worse, the fall of R.P McMurphy ultimately had a major effect on all of the other patients at the ward. With all of the uproar about McMurphy trying to take control of the ward and giving the patients hope for the future, Nurse Racheted does everything in her power that she can do before giving him a lobotomy. The lobotomy will show the other patients that his time is up. All of his momentum that he gained during his time at the ward came to a halt. “They pushed it into the day room and left it standing against the wall, along next to the vegetables” (321). McMurphy’s time came to an end as his friends witnessed the beginning to the end. In another perspective with different people, Barry Bonds fame went from the top to “six feet under” when his fans heard that he eligibly took steroids to enhance him game. Barry Bonds was a home run monster, hitting over fifty to sixty a season! Of course, as the number increased, the speculation if he took the steroids, which he did, rose as well, becoming closer and closer to the all-time record holders. “The dichotomy that exists regarding the manner in which Bonds is being viewed by the media, as well as by a large segment of the general public, versus the often empathetic tone used when discussing McGuire and other who have been accused of steroid use, is obvious” (Ebsco 2).

All in all, both people show an immense amount of drive to achieve what they desire, have gotten a carried away along the way, and have paid the price for the actions they have committed. McMurphy has demonstrated the will he gives to the patients at the ward, becomes just a regular person when Nurse Ratched catches on to what he is trying to do and orders him to receive a lobotomy, and, to make it all worse, Chief Brodman takes his life away when he becomes a vegetable. As for Barry Bonds, his rise to fame started with his family name and his incredible talent for the game of baseball. When he started to take steroids, he started falling down a horrible road, and could never rise up from it. Not all tragic heroes are people that can come up from such a tragic fall.

Kram, Mark. "Barry Bonds." Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 1993. Biography in Context. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Harris, Jaimie C. "Barry Bonds continues to play hardball on the steroids issue." New York Amsterdam News 24 Feb. 2005: 48. MasterFILE Elite. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Kesey, Ken. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, a Novel. New York: Viking, 1962. Print.

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