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 …show more content…
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