Film Essay Shawshank Redemption Onslow College Essay

3337 words - 14 pages

Analyse how the relationship between characters helped to illustrate one or more ideas in the text.(2016 Q8)
In the film, "The Shawshank Redemption", directed by Frank Darabont a relationship that helped illustrate one or more ideas was the relationship between Andy and Red. This relationship helped to illustrate the idea of hope. One of the first scenes that portray the idea of hope is the roof scene as the prisoners enjoy their beer after doing hard labour. The next scene is when Andy plays the opera to all the prisoners over the speakers, at personal risk. Finally, the last scene that illustrates the idea of hope is Red and Andy's reunion at the end of the film. In all of these scenes we see the contrast of Andy's hope and Red's fear of it. Red slowly begins to believe in hope from Andy.
Hope, more than anything else, drives the prisoners at Shawshank and gives them the will to live. Andy's sheer determination to maintain his own sense of self-worth and escape keeps him from dying of frustration and anger in solitary confinement. Hope is an abstract, passive emotion, immobile, and inert lives of the prisoners. Andy sets about making hope a reality in the form of the agonizing progress he makes each year tunnelling his way through his concrete cell wall. Even Andy's even-keeled and well-balanced temperament, however, eventually succumb to the bleakness of prison life. Andy and the prisoners are cynical about it, especially Red, but by the end of the film he had also discovered the power of hope.
One of the scenes that this relationship portrays the idea of hope is when the prisoners are enjoying cold beers on the roof. In this scene we see all the prisoners sitting on the top of the roof that they have been tarring. The prisoners are all enjoying an "icy, cold, bohemia style beer" that Andy had managed to get for all of them as a favour from Captain Hadley in return to settle his money problems. When the prisoners are all sitting, drinking beer they felt like free men for once as drinking beer in prison shows something they have probably not have done for years. Red says, "We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men". The sun on their backs shows a sign of hope as light is. Red also says, "I think he did it just to feel normal again, if only for a short while." This shows that Andy did do it so that he could feel normal again and in hope that someday he can feel the freedom of not having the prison walls entrapping him. This also shows how Andy retains hope and wants to have a sense of freedom. We see a close up shot of Andy sitting in the corner of the roof on his own. Red again says, that, "As for Andy – he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer." This close up shot shows us how Andy had hoped that all the prisoners will feel like free men again. This scene is all about giving the prisoners a taste of hope and freedom. Andy in this scene is offering...

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