In the classic novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Chief influences McMurphy profoundly. At first, McMurphy got himself thrown into the psyche ward because he didn't want to go to the prision work camp. However, it turns out to be more than he bargained for. Chief is interested in him from the beginning because Chief has the ability to see people as they really are, and he understands that McMurphy is completely sane. It is when he finally speaks (for the first time since his incarceration) that McMurphy understands that he can make a difference to someone in this lifetime. And he does. It is his friendship with Chief that allows him to make the ultimate sacrifice; one that the chief understands.