The Shawshank Redemption is an inspiring story about Andy Dufreine and his efforts to maintain hope and his own survival. The film begins with the story of Andy Dufresne, a young vice president of a prestigious Portland bank, is wrongfully convicted of killing his wife and her lover. He is then sent to a jail where he learns the lessons about life from a few of the inmates, which eventually leads to him being a part of a corrupt scheme to launder money for the warden. But after nineteen years, Andy manages to tunnel out of the prison and to freedom. While it appears simple on the surface, The Shawshank Redemption gives a deeper meaning in prison life for Andy.
The title, The Shawshank Redemption, initially has an appeal to it. Redemption is to free from what distresses or harm. With this knowledge that redemption means to be free, and Shawshank is the name of the prison Andy is sent to. With this knowledge, we can ask ourselves how a prison can provide redemption. The title later gains its full meaning towards the end of the movie. Andy Dufresne is redeemed through his experience at the prison. He learns about life there, while teaching others as well. He is redeemed through his second chance at life after his escape from the prison; hence redemption.
A major theme of the film may be the power of hope. Hope, more than anything else, drives the inmates at Shawshank and gives them the will to live. Andy’s determination to maintain his sense of self-worth and escapes keeps him from dying of frustration and anger towards his false incarceration. Initially, he remains passive and reserved towards the other inmates. Only stretching out when he sees an opportunity to be useful. Andy sets about making hope a reality in the form of the agonizing progress he makes each year tunneling his way through his concrete wall. Red notes that Tommy William’s testimony that could prove Andy innocence was like a key unlocking a cage. That cage, in Andy’s mind, is like hope that...
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