The Shawshank Redemption as a dark fairy tale.

Essay by 735918462College, UndergraduateA+, July 2004

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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...