Portryal of Andy as a Symbol of Hope in Shawshank Redemption Essay

Decent Essays

In 1994, Frank Darabont’s film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ received a poor reception when released; it only made a $0.3m profit. More recently the film has become known as one of the greatest movies of all time, it has inspired hope in many people, helping them to lose weight, leave abusive marriages and such like. The film is based mainly upon two convicts, and the idea of hope. Andy Dufresne is a ‘Hot Shot Banker’ imprisoned with two life sentences, for the suspected murder of his wife and her lover and ‘Red’ (Morgan Freeman) whom Andy redeems hope in, along with the other convicts, saving them from institutionalisation.
One of the ways in which Andy saves himself is by making projects for himself. The first thing that Andy does is to …show more content…

Red is very reluctant to accept hope, even stating in the film ‘Hope is a dangerous thing; hope can drive a man insane’ and this is expressed through shadows cast on him whilst Andy is shown in the light. This idea of hopelessness exaggerates the redemption of hope expressed later on in the film, an example of this is right at the very start of the film when the man is beaten so badly by the prison guards that he dies, Andy’s asks a key question that nobody can answer; ‘What was his name?’. This hopelessness is then contrasted when the friendships are formed later on in the film, when everybody becomes close, which is confirmed when Andy bargains with the guards and consequently wins three bottles of beer for each of his work mates. Andy’s friends and he are regularly shown laughing together or helping one another to cope, Darabont successfully reflects hope into the eyes of the viewer through these friendships. Gestures such as the harmonica illuminate this point when Red begins to create music.
Music is constantly used in the film as an icon of hope; it is used throughout the whole film in various different ways, to express and exaggerate different emotions that the characters are feeling. We are able to track the change of emotions and the feelings towards the idea of hope that the convicts in Shawshank have, making the build up of hope increasingly noticeable to the viewer. The main use of Music

Get Access
Get Access