How Hope Leads To Freedom In Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption

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For any novels to truly connect with the readers the author needs to pay close attention to character development. It’s the human element that is going to resonate with people.A great character is more than just an iconic name it’s the process of creating a believable fictional character by giving them depth and personality. The book Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption the two main characters, red and Andy both evolve throughout the book but overall Red develops more over the story.

Red is a character that has been institutionalized to the prison system. During the text Red undergoes a change in his point of view of life after becoming compatriots with Andy Dufresne, another central character in his change. From the novel Red comes off as a very strong and experienced character. He was sentenced to Shawshank prison at very young age, after he committed an accident involving his wife and his neighbour and infant. At the very beginning at the novel Red confesses to this right off the back. Which plays into him coming off as a strong character. Red is the dual protagonist along with Andy. That fact that you can look at the story through either of their eyes is due to the having the book through Red’s point of view. As the story progresses it let’s the readers see other characters the way Red does, which can also lead to the story shifting.

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Red’s Disunity is he’s alive but hopeless, stringing out his days in prison with no exit strategy other than his eventual demise.standing in the way of Red and the goal he shares with all his fellow inmates: Getting out of Shawshank is institutionalization.That is Red’s Nemesis. The daily grind of trying to survive in prison has forced Red to accommodate himself to his environment. He knows prison life, he knows Norton, Hadley, the prisoners, the very walls of Shawshank, in fact, he knows all of it so well that he is the go-to guy to procure what people need.This make it feels like Red has given up or nearly so.The Nemesis institutionalization has ground down his hope to the merest wisp of a flicker suppressed deep down inside his dark soul.

Then Andy comes into play and that’s when Red shifts and changes If Red personifies cynicism and hopelessness, Andy determines to cling to hope. Red’s relationship with Andy, in the External World, Red “liked Andy from the start,” became curious about this most different inmate as he procured his rock hammer and poster of Rita Hayworth, finagled suds on the roof for Red and his fellow inmates, and played Mozart over the prison P.A. system. But in the Internal World, their inter-dynamic is all about hope.Red is indecisive between Andy’s clarion call to claim hope, cling to it for everything worth living, or yield to the ever-relentless life-sucking power of Shawshank’s walls and institutionalization? Red’s ‘attraction’ to Andy and what he represents is greater than Red’s hopelessness.

Then there is Brooks. Brooks who Red understands, a fellow patient afflicted by institutionalization but Brooks achieves Red’s ostensible goal, freedom. In the end though he can not cope with life on the outside and commits suicide. Brooks carves a path for Red, indeed the very same town, the very same room, and the very same job that Red experiences later when he’s set free. Brooks’ suicide is the act of a Dark Mentor is a projection of Red’s own cynicism, if Red has really given into hopelessness, why not kill himself offering one way to resolve things.

At that existential pivot point in Red’s life he accept the hopelessness which has been his consort all those years in prison and follow the path of his Dark Mentor Brooks toward death or believe in Andy enough to claim the tiny flicker of hope sputtering inside his soul . Red opts to follow Andy and choose freedom and hope. After having meet Andy Red was able to believe in hope. When he finally get’s out of shawshank and decided to follow Andy it shows just how much he has changed from before he talked to Andy. Andy helped Red get through his own fight to find something to live for and escape from both meantally and physically being looked up.

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How Hope Leads To Freedom In Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“How Hope Leads To Freedom In Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
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