Shawshank Redemption Analysis Kohlberg And Maslow Connection!

1287 words - 5 pages

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 class, Shawshank Redemption.Andy Dufresne was a banker who was convicted of murdering his wife and her lover and sent to Shawshank prison. Andy eventually becomes good friends with a fellow inmate named Ellis Boyd Redding (Red) who has a large impact on his moral & ethical development. The film follows the prison life of Andy Dufresne who uses his intelligence and knowledge to aid others. In his time at Shawshank, his energy and determination helped many people and the welfare of the prison. His campaign of one letter a week to he State Senate provided a number of books and records, along with money which aided in the construction of the prison library. This allowed Andy to educate a number of his fellow inmates and help them to achieve their high school equivalency. Andy used his previous knowledge of banking to his advantage by doing the tax returns for the majority of the guards and others as well as keeping the financial books for the warden's ill-gotten gains. This advantage allowed him much more leniency than the other prisoners. It was these advantages that abled him to manipulate his way to his escape. His actions allowed him to obtain everything he needed to successfully escape.The six stages in Kohlberg's theory are broken down to three levels, with two stages in each. Each of the six stages is more advanced than the one before it. Briefly, Kohlberg's theory presents three levels: the pre-conventional, conventional, and post conventional. Stages one and two in the pre-conventional level involve an "egocentric point of view" and an "individualistic perspective" in which the individual makes decisions based on the avoidance of punishment and the desire for reward. In stages three and four of the conventional level, individuals make decisions from a "member of society" perspective, considering the goods of others, the maintenance of positive relations, and the rules of society. Individuals in the final two stages (five and six) of the post-conventional level, reason from a "prior to society" perspective in which abstract ideas take precedence over particular societal laws.Maslow's Hierarchy of needs is based on different aspects of moral & ethical development than Kohlberg but is still a...

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