Illustration of Nurse Ratched

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

by Ken Kesey
Start Free Trial

Why does Randle McMurphy keep bugging the Chief in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

McMurphy is the only one that realizes that the Chief is only pretending to be deaf and dumb.  He makes it his personal mission to prove Chief Bromden can hear.  While everyone else ignores the Chief, McMurphy often talks to him and goads him to get him to talk.  Bromden's...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

McMurphy is the only one that realizes that the Chief is only pretending to be deaf and dumb.  He makes it his personal mission to prove Chief Bromden can hear.  While everyone else ignores the Chief, McMurphy often talks to him and goads him to get him to talk.  Bromden's act intrigues McMurphy.  He wants to know why a guy would pretend to be deaf and dumb for so long.  Bromden is like nothing McMurphy has ever seen before, so he wants to find out his motives for acting the way he does.

McMurphy eventually gets Bromden to speak, and they become good friends.  He finds out the Chief, like many of the other patients labeled "chronics", are not as hopeless as the Nurse would like them to think, so he sets about building up Bromden's confidence and urges him to leave the ward.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team