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Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption

1341 words - 5 pages

There is a staggering amount of corruption in the prison system that is caused by pressure on the inmates as well as the employees in Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King. The aforementioned corruption contributes greatly to many of the main plot points in the story such as; the harassment of the prisoners, the smuggling of contraband items into Shawshank, and the prisoners making their own lives easier by using the corruption for their own purposes.
Corruption is a main cause of the harassment and exploitation of the prisoners. This is exemplified by the Inside-out Program, initiated by Samuel Norton. It is described as being slave-labour, which has never been described as fair. Without the corruption in the program, Norton would not have earned as much money as he did (under the table) and the prisoners might not have been as exploited for their labour. Red mentions that “The construction businesses in the area were deathly afraid of Norton’s Inside-out program, because prison labour is slave labour, and you can’t compete with that.” (King, 57) This proves that the prisoners agree that the labour is very unfair compared to the work put in by regular construction workers, and is unfair to the construction workers too. Furthermore, Norton refused to allow Andy to have a new trial after hearing the evidence which would have made a very convincing case, which was a corrupt and unjust thing to do, based solely on the fact that Norton did not want to lose Andy as an asset, also that he was afraid of what Andy could say in court about his corrupt dealings. When Red gives his opinion, he says; “and I’m convinced that what happened happened because Norton didn’t want to lose his good right hand. I’ll go further: it happened because he was scared of what might happen, what Andy might say against him- if Andy ever got clear of Shawshank State Prison.” (58) This proves Norton’s hypocrisy, and how unfair his actions are against Andy. Also, after Andy is raped by the sisters, and Bogs Diamond is found beaten up in his cell, it is mentioned that someone (probably Andy) paid off some corrupt guards to keep their heads turned while Bogs was beaten. On this topic, Red says that: “A guard could have been bribed real easy to let someone-maybe two or three someones-into the block, and, yes, even into Diamond’s cell.” (35) Even though Bogs would be known to everyone as something of an antagonist, harassment is still evident, and it is obvious that the easily corruptible guards-pressured by bribes-allowed him to be harassed. Therefore, it is evident that almost all of the prisoners at Shawshank seem to have encountered some sort of harassment do to corruption in the system.
Red’s whole reputation in Shawshank is only possible because of the corruption in the system. He wouldn’t be able to smuggle supplies into the prison without his network of corrupt officials who are willing to help. These corrupt guards work in many different forms,...

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