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Someone by the name of Ernest Hemingway once wrote A man can be destroyedbut not defeated There is indeed much to be said for this statement as it can be taken tomean many things Initial impressions are that Hemingway is speaking of personal honorand how no man can have his honor taken away from him forcefully No matter how greatthe suffering or how undignified the death the very nature of honor is that it is somethingthat can only be lost through fault of the man On that account the quote says you candestroy a man but you cannot defeat his spirit The quote can also be taken to suggesteternal glory while the man himself may be dead his cause and influence lives on in thehearts and minds of others Lastly the quote could be taken as describing someone whowas defiant and true until the end never relenting even in the face of death or worse Allof these things can be said in varying degrees about the character of McMurphy in KenKeseys One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest Hes the gladiator who defends his prideagainst the villain by the name of Nurse Ratched The initial impression the reader gets of McMurphy is that of a dishonest liberalfree spirited street wise non-conformist and rather outgoing man - we immediately feelhe is going to be a thorn in Nurse Ratcheds side The nararrator Bromdon explains thenature of the Nurse clearly by saying Ive watched her get more skillful over the yearsPractice has steadied and strengthened her until she wields a sure power that extends in alldirections on hair-like wires too small for anybodys eye but mine I see her sit in thecenter of this web of wires like a watchful robot The Big Nurse is the order andcontrol and in her eyes McMurphy could potentially be the outrider of mayhem anddisorder in her ward He threats that which she works so hard to maintain Nurse Ratchedseems only mildly
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