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"The Shawshank Redemption", Directed By Frank Darabont, Attitudes And Values, Techniques Used, Essay

1022 words - 4 pages

"The Shawshank Redemption", directed by Frank Darabont, based on a novel by Steven King, is a film about the harsh realization of prison life in which the main character Andy Dufrense is wrongly convicted of a double homicide. Andy is injected into a maximum security prison which was a fortunate thing because it allowed him to reach for part of himself he could not in the outside world, courage, fortitude and strength. Using these attributes he is able to maintain ones hope and dignity, and break free of his psychological imprisonment, and find true freedom. Contempory social issues of justice and injustice are revealed through the techniques and conventions of cinematography, symbolism, and the themes of maintaining hope, friendship, dignity and ultimately redemption. All these aspects of the Shawshank Redemption either challenge or confirm the attitudes and values of the reader.The film examines how people are placed behind prison walls, whilst decades of life pass. It depicts the way the legal system can fail regarding the issue of justice and injustice and how the correctional system itself can be guilty of fraudulent behavior.Unfortunately the culture of dishonesty exists in Shawshank, and fails to rehabilitate most, making them, "an institutionalized man". In Reds final parole hearing he asks what rehabilitated means, as time takes its toll he finds out it's a "made up word", "Rehabilitated is a bullshit word", how can a prisoner be rehabilitated if they can't acknowledged what it means?. Through the sociological approaches of functionalism, "You eat when we say you eat, you shit when we say you shit, you piss when we say you piss" certain people such as Brook Hatlen became incarcerated, and when he is released at the age of 75, "lives in fear, Brook Hatlen knew it, knew it all to well", he takes his life, 'got bust dying'. This positions the readers to disagree with the Shawshank correctional system and positions the reader to respond and feel sympathetic towards Brooks.The Warden named Norton is a harsh man who has an epic hate for most. He is a man who "believes in two things, discipline and the Bible", and believes at Shawshank "you will receive both". Norton is troubled; his false sense of identity ends his life. In the resolution of the story, Norton opens the Daily Bugle newspaper and on the front cover it says "Corruption, Murder at Shawshank". In this brief second of realization of his crimes he turns around to seek guidance from a crochet his wife made him, "His Judgment Cometh and that Right Soon....", and ultimately it fails. The camera zooms in on the crochet, and there is a dramatic change in the music, which evokes the emotion of redemption and revenge. The audience is now prepared for Norton's suicide. The death of Norton highlights Andy's redemption, his payback form Norton mortgaging him. Through the definition of redemption, 'salvation from sin through Jesus's sacrifice', Norton being the sacrifice, justice has taken...

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