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The Shawshank Redemption Short Story Comparison Of

The Film Essay, Research Paper The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King is both a wonderful film and a brilliantly written short story. There are many themes represented in each form

The Film Essay, Research Paper

The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King is both a wonderful film and

a brilliantly written short story. There are many themes represented in each form

of The Shawshank Redemption. The one major theme that interests me in both

the film and the story is freedom. Freedom serves a large purpose for both the

story’s writer and the filmmaker. Both use similar examples to signify freedom,

not only in the jail, but also in a larger context about life. There are many events

and examples in both the film and the short story that signifies the theme of

freedom. The one main difference is when the film uses the director’s technique

to portray a feel of freedom for the inmates. The overall three issues used in this

essay are all linked to the feeling of the inmates feeling the sense of freedom

with the prison walls.

In both the film and the short story, which involves freedom is when Andy

Dufresne approaches the narrator, Red. Andy asks Red, “I wonder if you could

get me a rock-hammer.”(28) Andy’s reason for wanting a rock-hammer is

because he was “a rockhound. At least… I was a rockhound. In my old life.”(29)

Andy states that he would like to be a rockhound again on a limited basis

because it gives him the feeling of freedom. This example serves the purposes of

both the story’s writer and the filmmaker. The act of Andy Dufresne being able to

go on “Sunday expeditions”(29) at Shawshank shows the reader and/or viewer

that it will make him feel free, like when he collected rocks in his old life (life

before prison). On a larger level, this event could be interpreted as a lesson to

not give up your freedom. Even though something bad happens to you, you

should not become secluded and be depressed all of the time. Andy shows the

reader that you must “get busy living or get busy dying”(movie) or you will loose

your inner freedom.

The other theme of freedom comes in both the film and the story, when

Andy Dufresne got beer for all of the crew that tarred the prison’s roof. In this

example, even Red stated that the break “lasted twenty minutes, the beer-break,

and for those twenty minutes we felt like free men.”(48) Red recalls that the crew

felt such freedom that they “could have been drinking beer and tarring the roof of

one of our own houses.”(48) This example serves the purposes of both the

story’s writer and the filmmaker because it shows the reader and/or viewer that

this event happened because Andy wanted himself and his ‘co-workers’ to feel

freedom. This event occurred because he made business dealings with “the

hardest screw that ever walked a turn at the Shawshank State Prison” (48). Andy

was always known to have something different to him, “a sense of his own worth,

maybe, or a feeling that he would be the winner in the end… or maybe it was only

a sense of freedom”(48) which Andy could even manage to possess inside the

prison. Andy always carried an “inner light”(48) inside of him, an inner light that

burned for the dream of freedom. Andy got the beer for all his crew because he

wanted the crew to have a sense of freedom also.

The director’s technique that is used in the film but did not occur in the

short story was when Andy Dufresne got access of the prison’s loudspeaker and

played a brief amount of classical music. In the short amount of time the music

played, silence overcame the prison. Red stated that even though the music had

not lasted long, “every con in the prison felt free,” even if it was just for a

moment. This example serves the purposes of both the story’s writer and the

filmmaker because it shows the reader/viewer that the music gave the cons in

the prison a sense of freedom, even if it was just for a fleeting moment.

In conclusion, I believe that one major theme that is of great importance

throughout both the film and the short story is freedom. Freedom serves a large

purpose for both the story’s writer and the filmmaker. Even though the majority of

the examples are the same in both forms, the example that is different still holds

a similar interpretation and lesson about not only prison but also the larger

context of life. The director’s technique to portray the same theme was a good

idea for the film, proving to the viewer the theme of freedom still is maintained in

the film.

Bibliography

BOOK “The Shawshank Redemption”

Stephan King, The Shawshank Redemption

United States, The Ballantine Publishing Group, 1982

MOVIE “The Shawshank Redemption”

Director: Frank Darabont, Screenplay: Based on “The Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King, Released by Columbia Pictures, Date Released: 9/23/94 (limited), Running Length: 2:22

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