Is McMurphy a hero and if so why?
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I think McMurphy can be considered a hero and even a Christ-figure. McMurphy attempts to work within the Nurse's system, trying to outmanipulate and outfox her with his various schemes. Although some of his motivations are self-serving, he ultimately seeks to free the other patients from the bondage they comply with. But ultimately, the only way to change the acquiescence of his fellow inmates is to lead by example. He feels presure to acquiesce and avoid pain, but he choose to follow his independent spirit, which explodes in brute force when he rips the Nurse's clothes open. This act prevents the rest of the inmates from ever seeing her as merely the robotic hand of authority. She has a body now, and they can no longer follow her blindly, understanding that she is just as mortal as they are. They are likely to continue choosing the institution to the outside world, but they will remain with a greater degree of independence than before. In the end, McMurphy sacrifices himself for his fellow patients.