Shawshank Redemption Analysis - Kohlberg and Maslow connection!

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Lawrence Kohlberg, a famous psychologist, developed a theory which entailed six stages of moral development. The aim of his theory is to allow individuals to be characterised into one of the stages, based upon their moral & ethical well-being. Life experiences usually allow further development, thus moving the individual to advance to higher stages. On the other hand, Abraham Maslow developed a different theory based on human 's most basic needs which is represented in a pyramid type figure containing five levels. The most basic of needs appear at the bottom of the pyramid and the needs concerned with mans highest potential at the top. Both of these theory 's can be used to analyse Andy Dufresne, the main character in the movie studied in…show more content…
He quoted to the officer, "... I think a man working outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds..." The prison itself was a roof over Andy 's head and the blankets and clothes he received were enough to provide basic comfort. Maslow 's first and second levels are easily met within the prison community. After the beer occurrence, Andy advanced to Maslow 's third level of belongingness and inclusion. It is obvious that the inmates involved gain instant respect for Andy during this incident because as Red said, "he sat there watching us drink his beer with a smile on his face," a smile of belongingness.

Andy subsequently advances to Kohlberg 's stage four. It is obvious that he is quite aware of the rules within the prison and the punishments, but still he continues with certain events. It seems like he gets enjoyment out of irritating the prison officers occasionally and uses his power against them, even though he is well aware of the punishments. This is evident when he played a record over the intercom of the prison. Even though he had the chance to give in to the officers and avoid punishment at all, he sat there with a cheeky grin on his face and turned up the music. At this time, he progressed to level four of Maslow 's theory. His needs for respect and recognition are shown by a few of his fellow inmate when he returns from his time in "the hole". On his bed was a
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