English 101 – 4006
Assignment Sheet Evaluation
15 November 2012
Redemption Within Walls
There is something that needs to be said about slavery; no, not the physical manacles that were bounded around ankles and wrists but the imaginative ones given to us by those of higher authority – as William Blake once decried “mind-forged manacles.” Andy Dufresne’s character in Shawshank Redemption offers a brilliant message to any audience – old or young – about the power of resilience under imprisonment. There is more to life than what is inside the walls that surround you; in such, “imprisonment” was merely an imaginative force that is constructed by the mental realms. At least, that was Shawshank Redemption’s attempted conveyance; Dufresne’s character, conceptualized and manifested by the director Frank Darabont, both humanizes as well as critiques the imprisoned and the idea of imprisonment. Set in the 1940s, when Rita Hayworth, an over-the-top sex symbol in the American film industry, was alive and flourishing, Shawshank Redemption takes the ordinary lives of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freemand), Warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton), the hotshot Tommy Williams (Gil Bellows), and Brooks Hatlen (James Whitmore), and coalesces them altogether to set the stage for one of the greatest stories ever set in the dusty grounds of Shawshank State Penitentiary in Maine. Everything from Andy’s imprisonment to his eventual escape was integral events in Shawshank Redemption’s message regarding the necessity for humanity. Following, I will attempt to dissect the movie into three topics for analysis in the following paragraphs, with a conclusion which will reveal an overall reception of the movie as well as provide an evaluation.
Symbolism is rife in Shawshank Redemption; everything from the walls that surround Shawshank State Penitentiary to…...