Shawshank Redemption–Critical Analysis Essay, Research Paper
Shawshank Redemption Critical Analysis Essay
Being convicted of a crime you honestly did not perform, let alone the crime being the murder of your spouse, and being put into a prison where you would be for life and parole was out of the picture. This is the start of Shawshank Redemption. Andy Dufresne must live with this in the story based back in the day in the late 1940?s where Rita Hayworth was the object of desire. Shawshank is the prison in which Andy is sentenced to and must survive all of the problems of his new jail life. This consists of the labor to be done, the fellow prisoners including the sisters, and basically holding the idea of living and dying in a prison the rest of his life.
I had seen the movie before I had read the book in this case. The movie was over two hours long and I was expecting the book to be just as long, but to my surprise it was only one hundred and eight pages long, and the writing was not even that small. While reading the book, I found it to be snappy and clever in the writing. The movie was also clever and it followed the book closely, but did elaborate on the novel a bit more, making the movie very long. In the movie, I was able to get a better understanding of the relationship between characters and how the story took place and went on in order.
In the novel, the structure had Red talking about Andy and the story behind him and his sentence to Shawshank. The book was Red in first person. In the beginning of the book, Red told a bit about himself and then moved on to Andy. As the story went on, Andy was basically the main character and Red was the biographer of him. In the movie though, the beginning was not about Red in the first person. In fact, Red was just another prisoner, but still had those moments where he did state his mind as the first person. The novel?s structure was very descriptive of all the prisoners and the labor they had to go under. It was very thorough. In the movie, everything was very clear to understand, but the novel had some trouble getting the right things said or expressed. The novel confused me a bit when it described the murder of Andy?s wife and her lover. The novel did not do a good job of expressing the time and place of everything. It flipped to the past and the present on and off at first. In the movie, it was easier to know whether it was a flashback or not because that scenes that were shown were just hints of what was going on, showing only the evidence such as the gun and alcohol. When the flashbacks of Andy?s escape was shown, there were clips that were shown of when each little step Andy had to take to get out of the prison.
The novel and the movie pretty much are the same things. Of course the novel is much shorter looking than the two-hour movie. There are not too many differences in the film compared to the novel. It pretty much goes play by play according to the original novel. In the ending of the novel, the last that Red talks about is the note that Andy had written to him and the money that was given to him. Then he goes on and talks about where Andy is and hopes that he will get to him someday. In the movie, Red does go and finds Andy. He is walking along a shore and he finds Andy sitting on the shore. When Andy is busy with the guard and warden?s money statements, it seems as though in the movie, he has it much easier. In the movie, the part when Andy plays the music loudly over the speaker is not in the novel. It is just another little added thing to show Andy?s love of life and how he does not care too much about the things that could be worse. He did get punished for that though. Also, when Andy is setting up the library for the prisoners, it is much elaborated on in the movie??The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumb-ass?? ?Dumas?.
The story in the novel and in the movie follows each other exactly the same. The reason for the movie seems much longer (as in the over two hours timing) than the novel (all the one hundred and eight pages) is that the movie does elaborate a lot more on the story. The movie scenes, which took longer than in the novel, are when Andy first comes to the prison and is walking into the prison and also the whole period where he was doing all the banking statements for the warden and the guards. That was really elaborated on. The movie did a good job of picking the right things to elaborate on and let us understand more. Andy?s rock collection let us see the artistic and gentler side to him. Then when he was with the sisters, they showed how violent and strong he could get by injuring them. Andy was shown to be both gentle and strong and also very smart. The way that he dealt with the banking and the way he plotted his escape. In the ending when the escape was explained, you can see how much patience and thought he put into the whole process. It shows how determined he was to get out because he knew that he was innocent and could not waste his life away in a prison cell.
Andy?s escape was very important to the novel and the movie. The movie did a good job of showing how everything was done while the novel just told a brief description of the steps he had to go through. The movie had a bit more to the ending than the novel did. When Red had gotten out of prison and went to find the note and money from Andy, the movie showed him go down to Mexico and actually track him down there on the beach just like Andy said he would be doing. That part in the movie is not too important yet it does show good humor and a happier ending to the story than it would if it were not shown.
The novel?s writing has a snippiness to it that let me understand things easy and put them in a good point a view to see. The movie had many good shots that showed how big the prison is compared to the non-important prisoners. The different lighting expressed was also important to the movie. Whenever Andy was somewhere with the sisters, the lighting was usually really dark and shady. In the times that Andy was happy it was usually brighter than usual, like the ending where he is on the beach or when he is in the office listening to the music.
Throughout the story plot of the novel and the movie, the dialogue, the setting, the theme, the motif, and the direction all follow the same route. The novel has everything in it as the movie does, I mean, it is the pallet of the movie. The movie is better though. The movie is a better story to get into only because it does a better job talking about the more important events rather than just explaining everything in the same amount of length like the novel does. You can get a better feel of the sensation of being in prison life too, with the extraneous labor, the claustrophobic cells, and the terror of the sisters.