The Shawshank Redemption As A Dark Fairy Tale.

1185 words - 5 pages

The film, "the Shawshank redemption" is often referred to as a "Dark Fairy Tale." That is, it displays all the basic elements of a classical fairytale, which in turn are characterised by gloom. A fairy tale is defined as a type of literary discourse about morals, values and manners. The typical fairy tale portrays the co-existence of good and evil in which the conflict of power and social relators is evident throughout the plot, and ultimately results in the good becoming superior to the evil. Also, a fairytale usually finishes with a moral, a lasting lesson in which solutions to unresolved problems become clear. These elements are evident throughout the film - the prison is built upon a social strata in which certain characters are portrayed as 'evil' such as the Warden or 'good' such as Andy. The ending sequence to the film is a link between the film and a fairytale as there is the presence of good triumphing over evil and the solutions to both Andy's and Red's problems after their freedom of prison. Furthermore, the root of the darkness shown within the film is portrayed by the corporeal punishment displayed by Hadley to the inmates, the rape and assault shown by the sister's to Andy and also, the ruthless exploitation the Warden displays towards Andy, Tommy and the Prison's money. Nevertheless, the typical fairytale is largely inhabited by kings, queens, princes, princesses, soldiers, peasants, animals, and supernatural creatures, however, the film does not show this.In a fairytale, it is expected that a particular narrative structure is undertaken, which is evident in this case of "The Shawshank Redemption." A fairytale usually involves a hero, in this case Andy, needing to undertake a journey/adventure - Andy is sent to Prison after being found guilty of killing his wife and her lover. The story then continues to incorporate a second character, which motivates the hero to begin the journey - Andy befriends Red in which their friendship becomes an important aspect to the flow and style of the movie, which Red helps Andy become adjusted to the workings of Prison Life. The journey then involves meeting both allies and enemies - Andy becomes friends with Red and his friends while the Sister's assault Andy. The journey becomes more difficult - Andy discovers the Warden's exploitation of money and also, approaches the Warden about being not-guilty, resulting in the Warden putting Andy in Solitary Confinement. The hero is put to the test - Andy spends years digging a tunnel out of his cell, he then has to crawl his way through sewerage to escape from the prison. The hero passes the test and is rewarded in some way - Andy escapes from the prison and ultimately, moves to the side of the sea where he is able to be free. Evidently, the way in which the Film is written is very closely linked to that of a fairytaleAlso, it is evident that within the prison a social strata is created and within that strata certain characters are portrayed to be "evil"...

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