shawshank redemption

shawshank redemption - Alea Roach A05760824 3.20.06 The...

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Alea Roach A05760824 3.20.06 The Element of Exchange Within The Shawshank Redemption Like many of the captivity narratives, particularly prison and internment narratives, The Shawshank Redemption contains many key elements typical to captivity narratives. In the most basic sense, there are captives, captors, and a constant struggle between them. Also, exchange is a key element of the film. However, The Shawshank Redemption is unique in the captivity narrative genre because it is a captivity narrative which reverses or exchanges itself during the course of the plot. By the end of the film, the original captives, the prisoners within Shawshank (specifically Andy), assume the metaphorical role of the captors of the prison guards and Warden Norton, who become captives within the prison system to the prisoners, and to their own criminal activity. In his film The Shawshank Redemption , Director Frank Darabont uses exchange, specifically between the inmates and prison officials to emphasize the reversal and exchange of identities between the inmates and the guards, and to comment on the typical prison narrative and the common perception of good and evil. The film begins with the main character, Andy Dufrane, a banker who sits in a car waiting for his wife and her lover to return to her lover’s home. Andy is tried in court and found guilty of murdering his wife and her lover, and sentenced to serve two consecutive life terms. However, at this point in the movie, the viewer does not know if Andy really is the murderer. Andy arrives at a prison called Shawshank, and makes friends fairly easily; his best friend is Red, the person in the prison who “knows how to get things,” and the narrator of the film (Darabont). Andy becomes a favorite among the prison guards, especially Warden Norton, and he is allowed to work in the library with Brooks, the prison librarian. Later, Brooks is released from Shawshank, but commits suicide shortly thereafter. Andy builds up the prison library, and helps all the guards with financial matters; he eventually is used by Warden Norton in a huge money laundering scheme. One night, Andy escapes from Shawshank by way of a
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carved hole in his cell, which he had been carving with a small rock hammer since he arrived at Shawshank. Red is released from Shawshank shortly thereafter, toward the end of the film. Warden Norton and Guard Hadley, the head guard who has committed many atrocities throughout the movie, are arrested, but Warden Norton commits suicide. Red and Andy meet in Mexico to begin their new life outside of captivity, and the film ends. Although the film was basically a failure when it was first released in 1994, over the past few years, the film has transformed and is now considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time. As stated by critics, the movie conveys a message of hope that resonates with people, which explains why the movie has been so popular (Kermode 11). Despite its slow plot line and old-fashioned narration,
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2008 for the course LTEN 148 taught by Professor Somewoman during the Winter '05 term at UCSD.

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shawshank redemption - Alea Roach A05760824 3.20.06 The...

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