Institutionalization is a process whereby a person entering the institution is reprogrammed to accept and conform to strict controls that enables the institution to manage a large number of people with a minimum of necessary staff. The Shawshank Redemption presents the story of several long-term incarceration prisoners and how these prisoners have been institutionalized.
Inside Shawshank State Prison, Red is a very important man who can get things from outside for everyone in the prison. This ability made him special among the prisoners and made him became used to this lifestyle within the walls of the prison. That also presents how Red has become institutionalized. His feelings about the walls were changed from hating them to getting used to them and then depending on them. He got used to his role in the prison to such an extent that he would be unsure of his role in society at large.
The idea about institutionalization are confirmed through the character Brooks, the prison librarian. Stayed long-time in the prison institutionalized him. He knew nothing other than being the prison librarian. So when he is released, he does not know how to react. He does not want to leave the prison and attempted murder of a fellow inmate. The freedom is granted to him just shifts him from one institution to another. He lives alone and works for a grocery store. Brooks’ new life is no better than the one he had known in prison. He could not adapt to his new role since he was institutionalized as a prison librarian. Brooks no longer knows what he is and finally hangs himself.
For Andy, institutionalization seems somehow does not effect on him. Hope was helping him maintain ties to his life outside the walls. Andy was a banker, an institutionalized job. But after his wife death, he recognized that this was responsible for it. It allowed him a way out of his role, and his refusal to accept the new one in the prison. The conclusion of the story is his eventual escape from the...
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