While there often appears to be just a story line in a movie, many different techniques are used to give a deeper meaning to the scenario. This is evident in the movie, The Shawshank Redemption. The story begins when Andy Dufresne, a young vice president of a prestigious Portland, Maine bank, is wrongfully convicted of killing his wife and her lover. He is then sent to jail where he learns lessons about life through his friends and becomes part of a corrupt scheme to launder money. After nineteen years Andy tunnels out of the prison into freedom. While it appears simple on the surface, through the use of many techniques such as title, colors, symmetry, names, numbers, symbols, irony, bible references, and others, The Shawshank Redemption gains a deeper meaning.
The title, The Shawshank Redemption, initially has a saving appeal to it. Webster's Dictionary defines "redeem" as "…to free from what distresses or harm (Webster 968)." There is the initial sense of salvation for whatever Shawshank might be. However, this sense changes when it is discovered that Shawshank is a state prison in Maine. With this knowledge the title is an oxymoron. How is it that a prison can provide redemption? The title gains its full meaning at the end of the movie. Andy Dufresne is redeemed through his experience at the prison. He learns about life there, while teaching others. He is redeemed through his second chance at life after his escape from the prison. In this sense he takes the Webster's meaning of "redeem," "to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental (Webster 968)."
A movie is controlled by ideas and techniques that are engulfed in almost every aspect of the film. In The Shawshank Redemption, there are three main ideas and techniques that carry the film, being walls, lighting, and water. Both literal and figurative walls trap Andy. In the beginning, he is trapped by the figurative wall of losing his cheating wife. When... [continues]
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(2012, 08). Shawshank Redemption. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 08, 2012, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Shawshank-Redemption-1069383.html
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"Shawshank Redemption." StudyMode.com. 08, 2012. Accessed 08, 2012. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Shawshank-Redemption-1069383.html.