Hope in the Shawshank Redemption

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Shawshank Redemption Essay

Question 8: Analyse how specific techniques were used to portray inspiring ideas in a visual; or oral text.

Directed by Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption tells the Story of Andy Dufrane, a man who has been wrongly convicted of murder and must endure life inside the harsh and corrupt Shawshank prison, but despite this he never loses hope of finding freedom. Hope is an important inspiring idea in this film, as it is what sustains him during the long and difficult years within the prison, and it is the result of this enduring hope that Andy finally finds freedom. There are many visual and oral techniques used throughout the film to portray the idea of hope. This includes the hope that Andy holds, and also the hope of those around him. One of the most important features used to show hope in the movie is lighting. The director uses lighting to show the hopelessness of life within Shawshank, which helps the audience to understand why it is so difficult for Andy to maintain hope, and therefore why it is such an inspiring idea. When Andy first arrives at the gates of Shawshank, the light is bright and natural. This represents Andy’s last glimpse of the outside world, of freedom and light. As he is walking in to Shawshank a high angle camera shot is used to show how dark and foreboding Shawshank looks, as it is something that wants to crush Andy and his dreams. As he walks in the light rapidly fades, this symbolises any hope that Andy had for the years ahead are fading, as the light is being taken away. This sets the scene that Shawshank Prison is a place where light can rarely make its way in. The lighting is also so dark that it is difficult to make out the inmates faces. This symbolises the way that Shawshank steals your identity, turning you into nothing more than a number. Andy later maintains his hope by working to preserve his identity, through keeping his passion for rocks and geology alive. Lighting is also used to show...
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