Harding's behaviour toward McMurphy and in general wasn't the same in the first chapters and the last ones. How has he changed his ideas and beliefs?
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Harding is in the ward voluntarily, so his position is very different that McMurphy's, as McMurphy was actually committed. In the beginning of the novel, Harding cheers McMurphy on and supports (encourages) his rebellion. Unfortunately, the encouragement McMurphy receives becomes his downfall. The other men either believe him to be in control, or in Harding's case allow him to think he's in control, when in actuality, McMurphy's situation is in complete control of Nurse Ratched. Harding can walk away at anytime....... McMurphy must be released. Thus, Harding has a hand in McMurphy's destruction.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest