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Literature & Language
English (U.S.)
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Randle McMurphy and Harrison Bergeron

Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron” and Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest are complex texts which explore the different features of society ideals, specifically anti-heroism. An antihero is a type of hero who does not have some qualities of being a typical hero. A typical hero is a hero with morals and ethics and who respects everybody. These anti-heroic traits are portrayed through the characters of Harrison Bergeron and Randle P. McMurphy. Harrison Bergeron and Randle P. McMurphy are used as narrative tools to connect with the reader; they possess many recognizable traits, particularly their ego and hamartia. This paper compares and contrasts the character, McMurphy and Bergeron, concerning their role as the antihero.

Both Randle McMurphy and Harrison Bergeron are unscrupulous antiheroes. He fights the Nurse because he thinks Nurse is mistreating him and other patients. McMurphy acts as if he is insane to escape a prison verdict for the assault. Instead, he is devoted to the hospital for his treatment, "Thirty-five years old. Never married. Distinguished Service Cross in Korea, for leading an escape from a Communist prison camp. A dishonorable discharge, afterward, for insubordination. Followed by a history of street brawls and barroom fights and a series of arrests for Drunkenness, Assault and Battery, Disturbing the Peace, repeated gambling, and one arrest for Rape" (Penguin 34). The Nurse reads. He swiftly finds himself involved in a fight for power against the Nurse. Randle McMurphy thinks that the Nurse is using her power to mistreat the patients into compliance. Thus he refuses to bend to the Nurse’s will. On the other side, Harrison protests against the system and the government. He escapes from prison so that to overthrow the government. This is a form of individualism since Harrison meditates on his resolution but not on the notion of fixing the problem. He wants to overthrow the system and the government to create his monarchy and selfish interests but not just for society’s interests. Over this, Bergeron became an antihero since he chooses to be his peculiar personality but not for the benefit of his people. Nevertheless, the readers cann

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