A detailed analysis of the film "Shawshank Redemption"

Essay by pommehHigh School, 12th gradeA, February 2006

download word file, 5 pages 4.3

Downloaded 130 times

"I believe in two things. Discipline and the bible. Here, you'll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord. Your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank." These words, spoken by Mr Norton, the prison warden, greet the men as they arrive at Shawshank prison. An indication of what they should expect of the place.

"Shawshank Redemption" is a film about a banker named Andy who is sentenced to prison for two life sentences for a crime that he did not commit. There are many injustices shown throughout the film. The main injustice shown is that which occurs inside the prison, and not performed by the prisoners themselves.

Prisons are the endpoint of our society's justice system. A person is convicted of a crime then they are punished for the crime by being sent to prison. Justice is applied. The purpose of being sent to prison is so the person can be punished for their crime and also to be redeemed, to be restored to uniform citizens again.

How is a prisoner meant to be redeemed if the prison and the people in charge of their redemption are committing crimes?

The guards beat the prisoners within an inch of their life and sometimes an inch beyond their life. Mr Norton, the Warden, commits crime in laundering dirty money he receives, by using Andy, a convicted murderer, to assist him in hiding this. The main injustice shown however is when Tommy is shot, simply for trying to help Andy out of jail, lawfully. This would however put Mr. Norton's secrets in jeopardy.

In prison, Andy meets a man named Ellis Redding. Red, as he was called, was a tall, dark skinned man and he was known for his ability to obtain things in prison. "Cigarettes, a bag of...