A Feature Film Analysis Of Values Presented By The Central Characters In "The Shawshank Redemption" And "The Hurricane"

1791 words - 7 pages

Most texts make use of a central character to represent the values an audience would share or admire. Show how this occurred in at least one feature film that you have viewed.Feature films, like any other text, aim to influence or challenge an audience on the basis of their attitudes and values. To achieve this, most feature films use central characters who share the basic values of a particular target audience. For example, The Shawshank Redemption, directed by Frank Darabont, uses the character of Andy Dufresne to represent values such as friendship, freedom and hope. Andy is wrongly convicted of killing his wife and her lover. Once in the prison, he is seen as a God-like figure who brings hope and the feeling of freedom to the prisoners in isolated Shawshank. Similarly, the character of Rubin Carter, in The Hurricane, directed by Norman Jewison, represents many values such as freedom and justice. Rubin an, African American, is also wrongly convicted of murder. The film traces his unjust and unequal treatment throughout his life. Both feature films use characterisation and film language in presenting the central characters either negatively or positively. This in turn, assists in the acceptance or rejection of values put forward by the characters. Both Andy and Rubin are characters presented in a positive light and thus, their values represent ones shared and admired by the contemporary audience.Education and intelligence are highly valued in the modern world today. For most people, education represents a sense of security, a way of getting somewhere in life. Through the use of characterisation and film techniques, this value is mirrored by the central character of Andy, in The Shawshank Redemption. Whilst in prison, Andy uses his education and intelligence to an advantage, manipulating the guards and warden. By doing this, he stands out from the typical criminals and he forms casual relationships with them. This, ironically, leads to his eventual redemption and freedom. Andy's value of education is also so strong that he finds the time to build an educational library for the prisoners and teaches Tommy how to read and write and achieve his high school diploma. It is clear that Andy's value of education leads to his forming of friendship bonds with most of the prisoners and metaphorically, leads to his rightful freedom and justice. Andy's wholesome success through his intelligence and education presents the fact that, without an education, a person will get nowhere in life. Thus, his character represents the value of education that I already share.Similarly, Rubin Carter in "The Hurricane" uses his education to gain his eventual freedom. He too, is seen to be an intelligent, well-educated character. For example, Rubin is determined in keeping himself educated in the prison and this is presented in his quote; "Writing is a weapon more powerful than the fist could ever be." This determination leads to a production of a personal autobiography;...

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