A movie review paper: Shawshank Redemption

Published under category: Custom Writing | 2015-05-16 20:46:59 UTC

Context: Film and movie analysis

The story “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King is a tale that depicts the life of inmates at the fictional Shawshank prison in the late 1940s and early 1950s; prisoners, most of whom were confined in the facility for a long time, are serving lengthy sentences without freedom, perhaps owing to the nature of their crimes. Indeed, a prison is a conviction facility, and sometimes a correctional one, where people who have committed various crimes are confined. The narrator of the story, Red, recounts in the beginning of the narrative how he orchestrated the death of his wife by disabling the brakes of her car, which ended up killing his wife and even a neighbor and a child. Red says, “I came to Shawshank when I was just twenty, and I am one of the few people in our happy little family who is willing to own up to what he did. I committed murder” (King 2). This act of murder earned Red a life sentence. His fellow inmate Andy was also imprisoned for life after killing his lover Quentin and his philandering wife Linda (King 4). The prosecution argued that “Andrew Dufresne, he said, was not a wronged husband seeking a hot-blooded revenge against his cheating wife” (King 4). According to the District Attorney, “such could be understood, if not condoned” (King 4). However, the reason why Andy was to be convicted for life is that “his revenge had been of a much colder type” (King 4). Although Andy confesses to be innocent to his inmates in the prison, the theme of “crime”, and more significantly, that of “crime does not pay” is central in the story and is part of the author’s purpose of narrating the story. Conversely, the story develops the idea that “crime does not pay” in the lives of Red, Andy, and Warden Norton, and the entire account of their outside, and prison life brings out concrete lessons that support this idea. All the inmates in the Shawshank prison have been convicted for life, because of having carried out certain offenses, whether guilty or not. To start with, Red the narrator of the story confesses that he committed murder in the beginning of the story. What is more somber is that, he was brought to Shawshank prison when he was only twenty years old. Red had just began his young adulthood and probably he had not enjoyed his youth. His life is a typical example of a wasted life, because being confined in prison without freedom is one of the worst lives one can live. Crime indeed does not pay. It was very wicked for Red to fix brakes for his wife so that the car can cause accident. Even if he had problems with his wife, or whether her age was the issue, Red could better have terminated the marriage rather than planning for her death, and worse, the incident killing innocent neighbors. Further, the crime led to his life confinement in a prison where life was worse than the one he lived with his wife. Inside prison, Red continues to live a controversial life, where he is an architect a master of all crooked actions. For example, he helps other inmates to get cigarettes, booze, and other items most of which are not allowed in the facility. His attempt to make himself available to anyone who needed assistance in prison seems a scheme to accord himself protection. He endeavors as much to defend his actions in prison and actually tying as much to run from the reality of confinement. His hardened position in prison seems to help him hide from the reality of fear of ever having freedom. Crime of whatever magnitude is indeed is detrimental and does not pay. Equally, Andy Dufresne is a young bank executive from Portland, Maine, sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife and her lover, a crime he did not commit. His life in prison seems to be marred with crime than his outside life. Although Andy survives nineteen years in Shawshank prison from 1947 to 1966 by helping fellow inmates and by offering financial advice to the guards and the warden, his escape was an offense. In many instances in the prison, the warden needed Andy in jail, and because of this, the warden makes a guard kill a young inmate who has evidence that Andy was innocent. The warden planned this crime for his own interests, but finally even by killing an innocent young inmate, Andy escapes from prison. This shows that crime does not pay at all. Andy escapes through a tunnel he has been excavating for nineteen years. Using a fake identity, he withdraws the warden’s laundered money from the banks, mails evidence to the local newspaper incriminating the warden and a vicious guard for corruption and murder, and flees to Mexico. The situation for the warden actually becomes worse that thought. The representation of a prison as a machine in the story, crushing the life out of its inmates by repetitive, arduous routine, in a sense creates another form of atrocious crime, rather than the intended correctional purpose. Trials in the book such as that of Andy feature inmates charged without any logical evidence being brought forward. Further, the inmates are subject to a sadistic and dehumanizing system whose only purpose seems to destroy them. Instead of bestowing justice and serving the purpose of correcting crime, we see eventually the inmates escaping prison helped by Andy. The harshness, corruptness, and atrocious reality of this prison does not make life better or make them change, but instead makes them plan how to flee. The entire life of Andy that of enduring and leading a moral life, demonstrates that crime does not pay. On the face value, although Andy is probably better educated and employed than the majority of his inmates, he still shares much in common with them. However, critically, Andy stands out from the other prisoners around him, asserting his humanity while others succumb to institutionalization, at the same time that he undermines the corrupt authorities that run the prison. Andy’s character actually shows that crime does not pay. Andy is unassuming, humble, smart, and patient. Most of all, however, he is best defined in terms of his indomitable spirit. After decades of doing time for crimes he did not commit, Andy gives up neither his desire for freedom nor his personal humanity. Andy’s subversive acts force him to spend more time in the hole, actually enduring solitary confinement longer than any other prisoner at Shawshank. He becomes a target for the sisters and for years endures their homosexual assaults. While he has every reason to become cynical and embittered because the system so terribly failed him, instead of turning inward toward self-pity and despair, he channels his anger and prodigious energies outward, electing to help others instead. Several men receive their high school equivalency diplomas because of his dedicated tutelage; he builds the Shawshank library and saves Red from capitulating to institutionalization. Nonetheless, as a prisoner who witnesses the complex web of illegality that is orchestrated by Warden Norton, Andy is acutely aware of how corrupt social pressures encroach on individual integrity. These evils are a typical representation of crime. Therefore, while he seeks solidarity, with his small group of friends, he also resists conformity to crime. In spite of the close bonds Andy maintains with the prisoners he helps, Andy is clearly distinguished from the rest of the prison population. Having convicted of crime, his real life is ironical because he is anti-crime. The purpose of this exhibition by King is to show the extent to which good deeds pay in contrast to crime. His life depicts that crime does not pay. Instead, Andy endures his time in prison with dignity, moral fortitude, a willingness selflessly to help others, and a pervasive sense of faith that he will find his deliverance. Further, Andy’s presence in prison is an example of hope and steadfast resistance in the face of arbitrarily cruel human authorities lives on in the stories that Shawshank’s residents tell about him, long after his departure, an indication that crime does not pay. References King, Stephen. Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption. Filmandliterature, 2010. Web. 2 June. 2014. ORDER PLAGIARISM FREE PAPER


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