Hope in the Shawshank Redemption

1006 words 5 pages
Shawshank Redemption Essay

Question 8: Analyse how specific techniques were used to portray inspiring ideas in a visual; or oral text.

Directed by Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption tells the Story of Andy Dufrane, a man who has been wrongly convicted of murder and must endure life inside the harsh and corrupt Shawshank prison, but despite this he never loses hope of finding freedom. Hope is an important inspiring idea in this film, as it is what sustains him during the long and difficult years within the prison, and it is the result of this enduring hope that Andy finally finds freedom. There are many visual and oral techniques used throughout the film to portray the idea of hope. This includes the hope that Andy holds, and also
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This shows a contrast between this and his previous opinion.
Another technique used to show hope is music. This is showed when Andy locks himself in the prison office and plays a Mozart record over the loudspeaker. This has a profound and immediate effect on the inmates of Shawshank. A wide high Angle shot shows all the inmates frozen in place, as if staring up to heaven, the source of the music. This is again a brief moment of freedom for Andy and the whole of Shawshank. This was a moment of rebellion, something out of the ordinary to free himself from the grip that Shawshank has over his life. He said; “That is the beauty of music, that is one thing they cannot take away from you.” Andy continues to use music to help others later in the movie when he gives a harmonica to Red. This harmonica is a symbol of the hope that Andy wants to pass on to Fred, the hope that Andy believes can be found in music. Andy wants it to be a reminder that “there are places that aren’t made of stone. Later in his cell Red begins to play the harmonica. This shows the change that Andy is having on others, that they are willing to look for hope in places they would not have normally looked.
All these aspects of the film come together to portray hope as an inspiring idea. They come together when Andy finally escapes, showing that Andy’s hope was not in vain, that he finally found the freedom he longed and worked for. Watching this movie, one cannot help but be inspired by Andy’s


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