ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Where Are You, Randle P. McMurphy?

Updated on May 15, 2014
sherrituck profile image

Sherri runs an online craft store and enjoys gardening and listening to classic rock. One day she hopes to be a writer.

I work for the Combine

Sweeping its floors

Watching others

As they participate in mindless games

Designed to make their square shapes fit into round holes.

Why must we play this game called conformity?

Who has the right to say "do this" and "do that"?

And if we are told, "to do"

Because we are only different from the rest,

Why must we obey?

We all see the world differently

We should prize our square shapes

Holding them up to the light

Admiring them for their real beauty

We must stand up and shout

But we remain silent and continue sweeping

Falling in line and participating in games

(Designed to make square pegs fit into round holes)

Where are you Randle P. McMurphy?

With your boisterous manner

We need you to shake things up

Show us how to live.

You did this once before

Never to do it again

And you have been away for too long.


Author's Notes:

I wrote this poem in tribute to the wonderful characters in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The book (later made into a movie staring Jack Nicholson as McMurphy) is a brilliant commentary on society and its attempts to make others conform to its rules. As Tom Wolfe points out in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Kesey liked to shake things up and to challenge the status quo. Perhaps we need more of this kind of attitude today.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Great poem. You're right perhaps if there were really people like McMurphy to shake things up things would get better.

    • sherrituck profile image
      Author

      Sherri Tuck 5 years ago from Virginia

      I have always been intrigued by the notion of conformity and society's treatment of the nonconformist. In this "keep- your- head -down -and -your -nose- clean" world, we are rewarded for playing follow the leader. In "Cuckoo's Nest," McMurphy challenges authority from the moment he enters the picture. You've just got to love it. The ending of the novel, however, ends on a sad note and reminds us of the prices that have been paid by those individuals that were willing. This is the part that always gets to me. Just how far will society go?

    • sherrituck profile image
      Author

      Sherri Tuck 5 years ago from Virginia

      I wrote a paper on Kesey in the 11th grade and again in college. I find his work and his life to be an inspiration.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Perhaps we need more of this???? We definitely need more of it. Sheeples need to realize that there is a big world out there and it is theirs for the asking....but they have to ask...and act....and be willing.

      Great message!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Randle was one of my heroes too. Great poem!

      Here in Eugene, we have a bronze statue of Ken Kesey at a main corner downtown called Kesey Square. His former home in Pleasant Hill is nearby. The statue shows him seated, reading to kids. It is always nice to see.

      I really liked the movie "Sometimes A Great Notion" with Paul Newman too. It was made on the Oregon coast and shows some of the "old time" logging methods.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)