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Andy Red's Portrayal Of Prison Life

Decent Essays
Although Andy’s story is the main focus of narration, yet Red’s role as the internal focalizer who adopts the viewpoint of the experiencing ‘I’, functions as a rhetorical device to create immediacy and suspense (Dan Shen 2003, 85). King succeeds in representing a close; quick paced and condensed portrayal of prison life with all its grim details. Through Red’s eyes, readers follow up Andy’s struggle against penal coercion, in which they themselves play a crucial part. Red acknowledges the presence of the reader throughout his retrospective narration, as he admits:
Well, you weren’t writing about yourself, I hear someone in the peanut-gallery saying. You were writing about Andy Dufresne. You’re nothing but a minor character in your own story. But you know, that’s just no so. It’s all about me, every damned word of it. Andy was part me of me they could never lock up, the part of me that will rejoice when the gates finally open
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Mark Kermode highlights the transformative power of art and its “crucial import to understanding Andy’s ultimate escape, in which he will literally step through a movie poster to freedom, suggesting that the escapist possibilities of the medium [the cinema] are powerful enough to transcend physical reality” (2003, 38). Through the movie poster, which covers his tracks, he burrows his way out of his cell and his redemption is achieved, “as [his] dreams take flight, and miracles become a reality rather than an abstraction” (Kermode 2003, 36). Andy’s success in escaping from Shawshank represents the materialization of his long imagined freedom. Zihuatanejo, his destination dream, is not just a town, but as Kermode describes, it a “state of mind toward which King‘s … narrative has been inexorably leading us – a state of hope” (2003,
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