Character Analysis

From the play, I was most drawn to Billy Bilbbit and Charles Cheswick, two supporting characters who show a lot of expression in their faces, body language and distinct concern within their voices.

I noticed they both characters have similar characteristics and story plots within the play, Cheswick expresses his childlike characteristic by asking for permission by those superior to him, he seems confused and on occasion throwing tantrums.

"May I have my cigarettes, Please Mrs Ratched"

"I ain't no little kid, I ain't no little kid"

Bibbit shows that he thinks very highly of his mother, a mommies boy, young and little experience with his sexuality. In need of comfort and closure from the ward he is a voluntary patient. He becomes anxious and concerned when Mrs Ratched threatens to tell his mother about his spontaneous night, an idea forced upon him by McMurphy and the rest of the patients. This experience allowed him to grow as a person and take actions of his own. Mrs. Ratched, a powerful woman who intimidates Billy further due to being friends with his mother,  takes him to the breaking point of suicide in fear of being thought of by his mother. I thought it was interesting that both of these characters have similar issues and result in suicide, Cheswick seeks comfort from McMurphy, looking up to him for encouragement and influenced to fight against society. Responsibilities are given to him such as driving a boat gives him a reason to live. When Randy loses his confident, Cheswick becomes lost and returns to his childlike state, not having an adult figure to look up to, commits suicide. 

"P-p-p-please d-d-don't tell my m-m-m-mother"

Both characters needed support and comfort from others, they need comfort from others to guide them through life. As the ward have little emotional and mental support they result to physical actions to 'help' the patients. They look to others as role models in the world as support and guidance, when both characters are ripped from their 'other' they are lost, feeling alone lost and empty. Their dependants on McMurphy or Billy's mother show how important the character is within their lives.

However it's surprising that neither of the characters was given lobotomies or much physical medical attention, they confined to the rules within the ward and didn't act out. It shows how much of the main character McMurphy was within the mental institute. A person confined to being an inpatient because of his rebellious behaviour, with no proper diagnosis of being mentally ill, he was forced to follow society, not caring about his punishment and living in the moment allowing him to act out, escaping from the institute, sleeping with prostitutes and attacking those with superior authority and power (Mrs Ratched). His character also rubs off on other patients, giving them a life and a reason for life, sadly for McMurphy because of his attitude towards society and little progress towards a mental institute, the alternative was to physical alter his mind to follow society with a lobotomy.

 "Mmmmmm, Juicy Fruit."

I found it inspiring that Chief was mute in the play and how this allowed him to be a wall flower the ward. Characters within the play perceived this as him being uneducated and dim, however like the other patients, he was not hassled by staff or threatened with treatment. This presents how little educated and ignorant people were about other cultures and their attitude towards people of different colour.It shows that Chief is the smartest within the ward, his powerful figure making him intimidating, but shows to be a caring and responsible figure confining to the wards orders. When Randle Mcmurphy enters the scene, he befriends chief, including him in activities and being a part of the institute. This secures Randles position in the ward against staff, seen when Randle fights Nurse Ratched and has a team of staff around him, Chief step in and easily defense Randle from being harmed.

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