Analysis of Shawshank Redemption Essay

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The movie of the Shawshank Redemption is based on a short story by
Steven King. The movie shows how prison life affects prisoners during
their sentence in jail and after when they are released. The director
concentrates mostly on the personal cost of adapting to prison life
and how some convicts, once they conform, lose the ability to survive
beyond the barbed wire and iron bars. As a character puts it, ‘These
[prison] walls are funny. First you hate them, then you get used to
them, then you start to depend on them.’ The director shows us to what
extent prisoners can be made to ‘depend on them’. The two episodes
that I will analyse are examples of two different ‘paths’ prisoners
can take once
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The first episode is the release of Brooks and his life on the
outside. When he leaves the prison he is dressed very smartly in a
dark suit. We next see him on the bus. The camera is set in front of
him and we see him sitting with his feet and hands on the rail before
him. The director has given him a crow like image. From this we
interpret that something bad will happen. When he steps out the camera
follows him down the road. While the episode is going on, Brooks is
narrating his feelings. When he wants to cross the road he is abruptly
taken back as he sees an automobile pass by. He says that there are
many more automobiles now than there were before and doesn’t like the
way the world has turned out to be. After, we see him feeding the
birds. He says that he hopes that Jake might “come by and say
‘hello’”. I believe that this is the scene in which we see Brooks in a
most open space, it gives us hope that he will do alright.

Brooks is placed in a half-way house and is given a job at a
supermarket. When he sleeps we see he is very agitated. The camera
films him from above (crane) and in a voice-over he tells us he is
often scared at night. We can compare this to some of the men’s,
including Andy’s, first nights at Shawshank Prison. Working as a
grocery-bagger at the supermarket everything goes wrong, he is…

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