The Shawshank Redemption

An analysis of Shawshank Redemption By Ben Jones, Matt Stevens, Max Barden

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The Shawshank Redemption by Mind Map: The Shawshank Redemption

1. Characters

1.1. Andy Dufresne

1.1.1. Smart

1.1.2. Quiet

1.1.3. Accepting

1.1.4. Kind

1.1.5. Changes quickly with certain events/around certain people

1.1.5.1. e.g. When Tommy came to the library to pass his exams, Andy became harsher and dominant, to tell him he was not going to muck around. They would both have to do it seriously.

1.2. Red

1.2.1. Cheerful

1.2.2. Intimidating

1.2.3. Dominant, even to the guards

1.2.3.1. e.g. When the officers were selecting inmates to tar the roof Red was able to persuade the guards to let them work

1.2.3.2. In Red's parole scene, although the parole officer is dominant, the viewer, especially towards the end of the scene, Red's wisdom and age renders Red the more dominant figure.

1.3. Warden Norton

1.3.1. Two-faced

1.3.2. Corrupt

1.3.3. Hypocritical

1.3.4. Stern

1.3.5. Wants Personal gain, not to help those in prison

1.4. Brooks

1.4.1. Old

1.4.2. Scared

1.4.3. Lonely

1.4.4. Sad

2. ITS DUFRESNE

3. Key Events

3.1. Clancy Brown (guard) beats Bogs Diamond (main sister) after he assaults Andy - This happens all because they put Andy in the infirmary for almost killing him. Andy being hurt he cannot work for the Warden. The guards were instructed to beat Bogs almost to death to show him what happens if he ignores what the Warden says, as well as to warn the other prisoners of what will happen if Andy is attacked.

3.2. "Salvation lies within". the rock hammer enclosed in the bible - This was a smart part of the movie where a pun was inserted, showing off Andy's wit. He knew the Warden was very fond of the bible and could quote it easily, the rock hammer being found in the bible is like Andy sticking the finger at the Warden, mocking him to make him feel ignorant.

3.3. Beer on the roof scene - Andy's personality traits and morals are shown off here. Red narrates and asks the question why Andy did it, coming to the conclusion it was just to "feel normal again". Working a job with money like he did on the outside world as well as being selfless are things usually absent from a prison such as Shawshank.

3.4. The Mozart scene (andy abusing special privileges - This scene shows Andy's love for music, it means a lot to him and all he wanted was to hear that song. In playing this over the speakers at Shawshank, Red narrates saying it reminds everybody of hope due to it's beauty.

3.5. Andy's 2 months in solitary - This part of the film was a good way to show what Andy cared about, his will power, and how strong of a person he is. Andy was put in the hole for two months, most people would go insane before they were let out. While in the hole, the Warden had tommy killed so that he would not be able to testify for Andy's release in court. Andy had been in the jail for 20 years and this was his one hope, now gone Andy had hit rock bottom. He told the Warden when he gets out he would be done with the money laundering, the Warden responded in saying that all his hard work within the prison, including the library would be ripped apart.

3.6. Brooks' death - This scene is a long one narrated by Brooks who reads out his suicide note. This really brings into perspective what the prison does to people and how it fits into society. Living in prison, Brooks figured out how to survive and was there so long it became his home and place he had spent most of his life. It was a system he was part of. When he was released into the outside world, it had changed so much from since he was there as a boy. It was a whole new system that he knew nothing about. This scene really shows how people are

3.7. Andy's escape - This is the most important scene in the movie, shows what a man Andy Dufresne is and what he will go through to achieve what he wants. Throughout the movie Andy is shown to be a hard worker who always likes to keep busy, this is idea is developed through Andy's efforts with the prison library and his polishing of rocks.

4. Themes

4.1. Isolation and imprisonment

4.1.1. The prisoners are not only isolated from people in there lives but they also do not see the world changing from outside the prison walls. e.g. At the time of Brook's release he narrates the story speaking about how when he was young and still a part of the outside world motor cars were not a normality and it was rare to see them, his release back into this changed world pushes him into something he hasn't been exposed to. His understanding of the current world could be related to the understanding a young child would have. Red finds himself feeling as imprisoned as he did in a cell an Shawshank Prison, this is explained when he says that he can't piss without someone telling him that he can.

4.2. Justice

4.2.1. Dufresne is innocent of his crime of killing his wife and her lover, but when confronting the warden about it. He finds that the warden who is supposed to enforce justice, does the opposite and disobeys the rules of his job for his personal gain, he is hypocritical.

4.3. Education, outside and inside

4.3.1. The prisoners learn about how the prison system works, but not about how the outside world, e.g. when Brooks and Red are released to the outside. Education is important because Andy finds himself a useful and fore filling job of helping others, which is hard to come by in a prison environment.

4.4. Hope

4.4.1. Hope drives the inmates at Shawshank and gives them the will to live. The hope that someday they may be released. When Andy finds out about Tommy's story, it gives him hope that reinvigorates him to further progress his tunnel and escape.

4.5. Corruption and Crime

4.5.1. Shawshank is full of corruption, greed, bribery, and money laundering. Everyone exploits the system for their own gain,e.g. Red, who can smuggle anything into the prison, and also the wardens, who profit from forced prison labor and money laundering. This shows that the people who run the prison are as corrupt as the inmates themselves.

5. Production Techniques

5.1. Focus on shoes

5.1.1. Numerous shots scattered throughout the film, greatly emphasise shoes.

5.1.1.1. Brooks' suicide

5.1.1.1.1. Camera focusses on his shoes as he steps on the table and begins to carve "Brooks was here" into the hotel roof. When he proceeds to hang himself, his 'dance' as he kicks himself off the table is completely in view as he hangs himself.

5.1.1.2. Andy with the Warden's shoes

5.1.1.2.1. At the conclusion of the film, Andy walks into the cell block with the Warden's shiny black shoes on and later that night he escapes Shawshank with the shoes.