Life within the Prison Community in The Shawshank Redemption
Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption depicts the lifestyle that inmates in the early twentieth century after the Great Depression endured and assimilated. These men are rightfully seized from their roles in society and forced into a way of life with different laws and rules than what they are accustomed to. In The Shawshank Redemption, you see a hierarchy of power form within social standing of the inmates and friendships and trust form between cons. The transition from civilian to prison life proves to be challenging, but manageable at Shawshank.
The Shawshank Redemption follows Andy Dufresne – an ex-banker who is condemned to two life sentences for the murder of his wife and her lover, and his struggles of gaining a social power within Shawshank. In his first few years of his sentence, Andy struggles with a few men; Bogs Diamond, Rooster MacBride, and a few others, known as “the sisters” inside the prison. Similar to the ritual of hazing in modern society to Freshman College students, the sisters raped the fresh fish or newbies to the penitentiary. After a few months of Andy fighting back the sisters and continually being assaulted, one morning Bogs Diamond was found beaten near to death in his cell. As the narrator states in the book, “A guard could have been bribed real easy to let someone into the block.” (King 35) We also know that Andy brought Five hundred dollars with him into Shawshank. “A banker in the straight world-a man who knows better than the rest of us the ways money can become power.” (King 35) Nobody knows if Andy had anything to do with this incident, but many assume he did, and this is the first time that we see Andy gain a bit of respect.
In Richard Armstrong’s article, “Self-Made Man: The Shawshank Redemption”, he states “When Andy comes through the Shawshank Prison gates; he is told he will learn the rules as he goes along.” Learning the new rules is...
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