Shawshank Redemption Essay

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Declan Killeen
ENG 4U1
Mr. Sanders
9 March 2012
The Hope Within: Shawshank Redemption
“Hope can drive a man insane. Its got no use on the inside”[Darabont]-Red. The film The Shawshank Redemption displays hope as a powerful emotion in which individuals can use to carry themselves on through troubling times and difficult circumstances. Indeed by contrasting the experiences of a select three characters from the film, the audience is able to see the importance of maintaining hope, in order to pull-through and succeed, Firstly, hope is shown through the character Ellis “Red” Redding, a man who on the inside was “a man who could get you things”, but on the outside was something much different. Also, it is shown through Brookes Halten, a well-respected man on the inside, but a used up criminal on the outside. Finally, it is shown to us through the life of Andy Dufresne, an innocent man accused of murder with a large amount of hope. Even though life throws one hurdles, it is important for one to have hope for the future, in order to completely enjoy a satisfying life. Firstly, Red, the man who can get you things, is an excellent example of how hope can either drive a person forward or destroy a person. When Andy first got to the prison, Red's character expressed little hope to leave the prison. As shown after his parole interview in which they determine if a prisoner has been rehabilitated and can rejoin society, Red seemed very uncaring of being rejected . After the death of a released prisoner, Red said, “These walls are funny: first you hate them. Then you get to know them. Comes a time when you depend on them.”[Darabont] Red displays a lack of hope, believing that he and everyone else sentenced to Shawshank, is meant to be there for the rest of their lives, and should not waste their spirits on hope. During Red's interaction with Andy, Red's behaviour relating to hope changed. At first Red shows his lack of hope by saying, “Every man has his...
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