Analyzing the Character Randle Mcmurphy as Depicted in Ken Kesey’s Novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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Analyzing The Character Randle Mcmurphy As Depicted in Ken Kesey’s Novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

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Randle McMurphy is the center of focus based on the reference ’One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.’ In this psychopathology report, we will be looking at Randle Patrick Murphy, an Irish-American, who was born on the 22nd of April 1925 and Passed on, on 11th December 1963 at the age of 42 years. Murphy is a war veteran who is sent to prison on the grounds of raping a fifteen year old girl but the sentence becomes indefinite.

Chief Complaint / Presenting Problem

Randal Murphy, a thirty-five year old is sentenced to prison on the account of rape which he claims is not true since the lady lied about her age. Upon his sentence, the patient declared his mental instability state which led him to admission in the mental institution under the careful watch of Nurse Ratched. This being the first time in this institution, a close observation would be kept in a bid to determine the reasons as to why he declared his mental instability. However, upon a small conversation, the attendants realize that his stress levels trace back from when he was in the military. The experiences he had when his troupe was captured by enemies were life changing for him. Psychologically, a patient who complains about high stress levels that may actually lead to insanity has a higher chance of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or even an attention deficit disorder (Campbell, 2015). Prior to his admission to the mental facility, Murphy has no prior mental conditions. His state of anxiety is directly attributed to his life in the military which followed a dishonorable discharge

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Personal History

Murphy is a dirty, loud, sexual and confident individual who relates to all irrespective of the social class. He adapts to the facility fast enough and a number of inmates have found close ties with him. His care free attitude drives attention to him because it is difficult to tell what he is thinking or contemplating. His character and attitude is a direct representation of a free soul, sexuality as well as self-determination. Murphy is a manipulative individual who would do anything to make thinks work according to his way. His sanity ideally acts in contrast to what Kesey deems as an institution that lacks sanity (Campbell, 2015).

Murphy grew up at a time where struggle to make something out was one self was at its peak. His neighborhood was a rough one; a reason that led to toughened survival skills faced with constants fights and brawls. Backing down was not an option since respect was not given freely, it was earned.

On the point of questioning Murphy’s interpersonal relationship, we find that the mental institution has significant control of the patient’s fate. However, Murphy’s element of sacrifice in a bid to assist his colleagues depict that of Jesus Christ when he died for humankind. This is an expression of the need to watch out for the welfare of others who cannot stand up to defend what they believe in. Murphy is an Irish American who loves to engage in brawling and gambling activities among other things that excite him in a bid to pass the time. In a world dependent on conformity, he finds it hard to embrace another person’s philosophies in life especially when it comes to the nurse. According to the admission sheet that is read to him by the nurse in the hospital, he is in for ‘diagnosis and possible treatment.’ At this point, Murphy is a thirty-five-year-old man who has never been married before. Most of his life was spent in the military having participated in the Korean War as a distinguished service cross (Reis, 2016).

One of Murphy’s innate nature is not adhering to any social facades. Also owing to his arrest and imprisonment in Korea, it contributed significantly to his lack of confidence and trust towards authority. He lived in a small town as a child not too far from the institution. However, he had to move severally due to the numerous challenges he faced during his stay. His life was just, but the ordinary one where he went to work had sexual encounters, and most of all got in trouble often. His love for gambling always led him to play cards while engaging in drinking sprees. His medical records, on the other hand, indicate that his aggressive behavior led to constant conflicting and complicated situations.

Family History

Not much information is presented regarding Murphy’s family. However, from his character, we can say that he was a man who learned to quench his curiosity from a young age. Something that he would have probably learned from his parents or siblings while growing up. Murphy grew up with his parents in a small neighborhood not far from where he was on mental health therapy.

Therapy History

Murphy’s therapy sessions were intended to make him and restore him back to his normal state. In his pretense of being sick, he is seen to play mind games to the nurse. However, for those who are genuinely not in the right state, they have to undergo proper medical attention failure to which can be devastating. His previous medical records did not show any therapy sessions that he attended. Most of the records retrieved were either treatment of bruises and/or broken bones. Murphy can be described as a somewhat adventurous person who sticks his head high when it comes to doing what he wants to do (Campbell, 2015). He controls what he can control and manipulates to his liking what he cannot control. This is a definition of an exploratory mind, a mind that seems insane at a time that it is sane. While in lockup, the nurse used a therapy that was aimed at restoring sanity to the self-proclaimed insane Murphy. The interventions were well designed to mitigate any risks and complications in that particular situation, and at that, they were meant to work correctly. When looking at the point that determines the success of the treatment, it all depends on what was being treated in this case because the subject had no mental complications at all. The reason as to why he declared that he was mentally unstable was meant to transfer him to a place that could guarantee comfort and some freedom (Campbell, 2015).

Medical Conditions

Murphy had no previous medical record that was bound to raise eyebrows especially during the process of administering interventions. The habits that people engage in significantly determine their behavior. Murphy’s love for gambling and alcohol is one of those cases where habits need a close observation because they can later turn into a medical condition. Alcohol is a substance that is widely used globally. However, the amount and frequency that people use it determine the outcome medical wise. His aggressive behavior combined with his attitude and love for gambling in one way or the other is bound to land him into trouble; This suggests that the police area regular visitor since these factors always end up being violent. However, this is just on the negative side looking at it through one dimension. If we were to look at Murphy through different aspects, we would realize that he is indeed a knowledgeable person. He is a strategist, a critical thinker, brave, and daring. In retrospect, he is the judge, the jury and the executioner of most of the things he plots or conspires to do.

Results of Evaluation

We all need some form of development in life; development we can relate to and feel proud of ourselves. Without growth, the feeling of failure kicks in and causes a decreased sense of self-value. We are who we are because of what we think and the activities we engage in on a daily basis. Positivity yields positive results. When we train our minds to think positively irrespective of the situation, we are bound to receive positive results. Personality and individuality define us but to become who we are; some underlying factors ought to be observed. One of them is Paige’s Stages of Cognitive Development which suggests that children think differently from adults. Through this argument aspects of personal development can be addressed from a tender age where we train our minds on affirmative matters. On the other hand, Feud also brings forth stages relating to psychosexual development. Through this theory, Feud suggests that personality develops in different steps which are connected to particular erogenous zones. When people do not complete these stages, complications are bound to arise during adulthood (Nolen-Hoeksema & Rector, 2015).

After evaluating Murphy’s case, it can be concluded that he had a plan all along to escape from prison. When he was locked up owing to charges of rape, he knew that in one way or the other he had to get out of prison since his sentence was indefinite. Murphy pretended to be mentally impaired since he knew that in a mental institution, he would find comfort and a little freedom.

Psychodynamic Theory and Therapy

This is one of the most established hypotheses of brain research in which patients are seen inside a model of sickness or "what is inadequate." Individuals are viewed as being made up of a "dynamic" that starts in early adolescence and advances all through life. This psychodynamic state of mind is by and large a diluted branch of the more preservationist and unbending psychoanalytic school of thought. The analysis underscores that every single grown-up issue's underlying foundations can be followed back to one's adolescence. Scarcely any advisors can stand to rehearse strict therapy any longer, and it is ordinarily discovered these days just in the hands of specialists, who have invested extraordinary measures of individual energy being examined themselves and going to a psychoanalytic organization. At the point when individuals think about a "psychologist," they presumably envision this kind of treatment (Baer, (Ed.), 2015).

Advisors who buy into this hypothesis tend to take a gander at people as the composite of their parental childhood and how specific clashes amongst themselves and their folks and inside themselves get worked out. Most psychodynamic specialists have confidence in the hypothetical develops of the personality (an intervening kind of power, similar to an arbitrator), a superego (what is generally alluded to as your "inner voice," as in, "Your heart lets you know not to smoke!"), and an id (the demon inside every one of us that says, "Proceed, what would it be able to hurt?"). These develop go to make up your identity, and the part of the oblivious is underscored. As it were, what you don't know can hurt you. What's more, as a general rule, it does. Since a grown-up's advancement to his present identity structure is seen as far as whether he or she effectively moved through the psychosexual phases of youth, you, as a grown-up, are likely uninformed of how you are messed up. What's more, as indicated by a lot of psychodynamic hypotheses I've been presented to, nearly everybody on the planet can be seen as just a single degree or another of "terrible." Human nature saw through the psychodynamic setting, is quite negativistic (Barlow, (Ed.), 2014).


Murphy’s case is best analyzed through this lens in ab ditto understand why he behaves in the manner that he does based on the decisions he makes. Based on the gathered information regarding his case, the best way to go about his situation is offer counseling sessions because he does not have any mental issues.


Murphy is a grimy, uproarious, sexual and confident person who extraordinarily relates with Bromden who then again has schizophrenia. His capacity to receive and live openly in the psychological organization is a fascinating element even before his kindred prisoners. In the whole film, no voice has coordinated his while supplementing his uproarious character. Murphy is an immediate portrayal of a free soul, sexuality and additionally self-assurance. Boss Bromden learns that to be sure Murphy isn't at all insane yet slightly his activities are gone for manipulat5ing the framework to his own particular will. His logical soundness in a perfect world acts interestingly of what Kesey considers as a foundation that needs logical soundness.

In the wake of assessing Murphy's case, it can be reasoned that he had an arrangement from the start to escape from jail. When he was bolted up attributable to charges of assault, he realized that in one way or the other he needed to escape jail since his sentence was inconclusive. Murphy put on a show to be rationally disabled since he realized that in a psychological foundation, he would discover comfort and a little flexibility. The theories that asses psychopathology cases have been developed over time, and they suggest that to get a full assessment of an individual's mental health or somewhat abnormal behavior, specific signals are observed. Through this signals, the best intervention is administered in a bid to reinstate normalcy on the individual.

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