1 November 2013
The Tale of One Man With Two Characters
Every story loves a hero, from saving a damsel in distress to standing up for those who cant do it for themselves. The character of Randel McMurphyis a hero in Ken Kasey’s novel One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but his character gets a bit lost in the film Although enjoyable to see a story play out in front of your eyes on film, it is always difficult to capture the author’s entire story. “In the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest film, a great deal of Randel McMurphy’s journey was omitted, allowing his character to be portrayed in a different manner than the book.” In the beginning of the novel when McMurphy is introduced to the psychiatric ward, he walks among the men introducing himself to each of them, both Acutes and Chronics He shakes each one of their hands saying “I’m R.P.McMurphy”(7). Whether or not they raise their hands to shake his he grabs theirs, showing he is a man with manners and values.
McMurphy comes in with a loud mouth and a strong voice, making sure every man on the ward knows who “R.P.McMurphy” is. He is outspoken with a free spirit. He shows that he has potential to cause trouble for the staff by going against their authority and refusing to shower. McMurphy walks around telling the men on the ward how he is a gambling fool here to make some money, stating: ”Yessir, that’s what I came to this establishment for-to bring birds fun an’ entertainment around the gamin’ table”(11). McMurphy goes on asking to meet the bull goose loony so he can take over the position and become the man in charge. McMurphy’s entrance in the film is much different from that in the novel. (Because you are introducing the film character here, you leading sentence should be talking about the film to get the reader to think about that instead of the book) During the scene when McMurphy enters the ward, two officers are escorting him. He kisses one of them on the cheek, almost as if to prove he had won because now he gets out of going to jail. In this scene McMurphy comes across as childish and obnoxious. He acts as though being admitted is going to be like a vacation from life. While entering the ward he is dancing around with a smile on his face. Before going towards the men playing cards at the table he stops at Chief Bromden and says, “God damn boy you’re as big as a mountain; look like you might have played some football“(Movie). McMurphy is then informed the Chief is “deaf and dumb”. He goes about making fun of his Indian heritage by jumping up and down, yelling and slapping his hand to his mouth, making an obnoxious noise. McMurphy acts in the film like he has all the knowledge and nothing to learn, as if he was just there to play games and get out of jail. This is a very different portrayal from that of the book, where his role is to control the ward and push the envelope. In the novel, the author explains why McMurphy is admitted during a group meeting with Nurse Ratched, Doctor Spivey and the other men from the asylum. McMurphy received a dishonorable discharge for fighting, drunkenness and statutory rape. McMurphy says the girl told him she was seventeen, and that the arrest didn’t stick because the girl wouldn’t testify. He does not seem to care about the reason he was admitted, and appears almost ok with it. When they discuss what he has done, McMurphy doesn’t yell or argue; he holds his composure. He appears as a man who is self-aware and secure in his thoughts and the type of man he is.
However, in the movie this situation happened in a different manner. This conversation, occurred pricately between the doctor and McMurphy in the doctor’s office. They discussed his fighting and the statutory rape. In the conversation, McMurphy said to the doctor, ”But doc, she was fifteen years old going on thirty-five and she told me she was eighteen and was very willing, you know what I mean“(Movie). McMurphy makes small talk with the doctor about the…