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It’s right there in the title, after all. If you miss how The Shawshank Redemption is about the possibility for redemption, no matter the person and the no matter the sin, then you simply were not paying attention. The most important element of the movie’s theme of redemption may be easily be overlooked or not fully appreciated. It is not enough to suggest that Andy achieves redemption because, as indicated, that should be obvious. Keep in mind that Andy sin is not equitable with the crime for which he is convicted. Therefore, Andy does not enjoy mere judicial redemption like some other characters; his is truly spiritual in nature because penance required for expiation seems distinctly unfair and over-the-top to relate merely to criminal action. That tough stretch require to achieve redemption is significant as well; salvation usually does not and should not come easily.
Andy never gives up hope of attaining freedom. He hopes to achieve it through legal means, but is more than willing to attain freedom on his own terms should the system continue to fail him. The system does fail him and that failure is an easy place to lose something as precious and fragile as hope. Andy never allows this to happen. The film suggests that keeping hope alive means not merely sitting back as a participant who waiting for hope to arrive. In order to maintain hope in the face of overwhelmingly unlikely odds, one must become an active agent. Hope, in other words, should not take the shape of an implausible fantasy, but a conceivable goal.
The single most iconic image from The Shawshank Redemption shows Andy, having finally made his way through the tunnel he’s been working on for decades, sliding through the drain pipe into the stream below, running away from the immediate danger, ripping off his shirt and then standing there with arms outstretched and head tilted back looking toward the sky as the freedom literally rains down upon him. The threat of capture and re-imprisonment is still palpable and the possibility of a million different things undoing all that he’s worked so hard to achieve cannot help but be running through his mind. Despite this, Andy cannot help but stop to take the time to relish the first taste of unencumbered freedom he has enjoyed in decades. It is a reminder of how precious a gift the freedom most of us enjoy really is and how quickly and without any seeming justice or logic it could be taken away.
Brooks, when his parole is announced, is so desperate to stay in the prison that he almost cuts the throat of Heywood. The identity crisis that Brooks is about to face once he is out of THE prison is what forces him to do such an act in spite of him being a respectable and reasonable man. As Red says in the film, Brooks has spent 50 years of his life in the prison and he is an important man here. But outside he is nothing. He has no identity, no respect and no position. He just becomes one among the billions. The fear of being no one and losing the identity that he enjoyed in the prison are the reasons for Brooks’ strange act
Andy is a man of courage and this courage is what makes him capable of taking the biggest risk. In spite of having an idea about what would happen if gets caught, Andy finds the courage to make a tunnel through his prison wall. His courage and determination to take risk is what makes him unique from other prisoners who have simply accepted their fate. Andy’s courage is also expressed in a scene where he plays music through the loudspeaker which proves as an overwhelming experience for the prisoners.
Destiny plays an important part in man’s life. Andy is no different. Even though he did not commit any crime, circumstances unfold in such a way that he is found guilty. It is unfortunate that circumstantial evidences were against him and he could not save himself from imprisonment. Thus destiny has a big part in how Andy ended up in prison.
The relationship between Red and Andy is admirable and inspiring. Their friendship in the prison is special as prisons are usually notorious for rivalry, fights and violence. They develop a mutual respect and love for each other over the years they have spent together. They find a true companion in each other. Living a secluded life in prison, this companionship serves as the source of comfort and solace for both of them. Their conversations with each other become the most important parts of the film. Andy’s letter to Red shows the depth of their friendship. The two lonely men become the source of support and affection for each other
Death is a devastating theme in the film. We witness two deaths- suicide of Brooks and death of Tommy. Brooks out of loneliness and depression in this fast-paced world commits suicide. Tommy is killed by the Warden as he is willing to testify Andy’s innocence. Warden used Andy to manage his own fake accounts and losing Andy can be one of the worst things that can happen to him. In order to save his own money and reputation, Warden shoots the young and vibrant, Tommy.
Prison life is a life of routine. You are forced to do certain things at particular points of time. After years you become so used to the routine you followed that you become depended on them. When Andy comes out in parole and gets a job in a shop, he is shown as asking permission to go to the washroom. Owner asks him not to take permission every time he wants to go to the washroom. But this is what he used to. Andy says, “40 years I have been asking permission to piss. I can’t squeeze a drop without say-so.” He became so depended on the routine in prison that his mind and body functions according that routine
It is true that some people commit crime in that one moment of extreme anger or passion. The good side in them always regrets the crime they did. They find themselves caught in an extraordinary situation of complication and confusion. They become nostalgic about their good times and lament over the beautiful and happy life they missed. Red’s lines-“we sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of our own houses. We were the lord of all creation”- expresses this deep lament and regret.
List Of 20 Great Essay Topics About The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a movie that runs close to two and a half hours that is based on a novella by Stephen King, which was only a little over 100 pages long. This movie has been nominated for many awards and won quite a few in different literary and film awards. Once you see the movie, you will understand why that is, and there are many topics that you can write about for your essay. Here is a list of some of the topics that you can cover.
20 Great Essay Topics
- What film techniques were used in the movie?
- Andy Dufresne, how did he shape the story and examine him as a character?
- Did screenwriter Frank Darabont’s version of The Shawshank Redemption hold up to the novella?
- Compare the movie to the book.
- What is the true redemption in this movie?
- What theme does The Shawshank Redemption have throughout the movie and if there is more than one, what is the main one?
- How did the Warden’s actions shape the way the story ends?
- How does Andy Dufresne become a criminal at the end of the movie?
- How does Red’s friendship with Andy Dufresne help him get through life in prison?
- Look at Murder in the First back then and now and see how The Shawshank Redemption shows the corruption of the system?
- What made Andy Dufresne break?
- Why did Brooks break on the outside world? Does this go on in today’s society?
- Why does Red keep getting denied parole?
- Why does the Warden ignore Tommy’s confession to him about Andy Dufresne being innocent and kill him?
- Why does Andy Dufresne spend so much time in the library helping other inmates?
- Who lost the most in the movie?
- Why doesn’t Andy Dufresne get caught at the end of the movie?
- How does Rita Hayworth tie into the story and the movie?
- What has changed in the justice system since the time the movie takes place?
- Analyze the movie and the book.
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