“Hope can drive a man insane. Its got no use on the inside”[Darabont]-Red. The film The Shawshank Redemption displays hope as a powerful emotion in which individuals can use to carry themselves on through troubling times and difficult circumstances. Indeed by contrasting the experiences of a select three characters from the film, the audience is able to see the importance of maintaining hope, in order to pull-through and succeed, Firstly, hope is shown through the character Ellis “Red” Redding, a man who on the inside was “a man who could get you things”, but on the outside was something much different.
Also, it is shown through Brookes Halten, a well-respected man on the inside, but a used up criminal on the outside. Finally, it is shown to us through the life of Andy Dufresne, an innocent man accused of murder with a large amount of hope. Even though life throws one hurdles, it is important for one to have hope for the future, in order to completely enjoy a satisfying life. Firstly, Red, the man who can get you things, is an excellent example of how hope can either drive a person forward or destroy a person. When Andy first got to the prison, Red's character expressed little hope to leave the prison.
As shown after his parole interview in which they determine if a prisoner has been rehabilitated and can rejoin society, Red seemed very uncaring of being rejected . After the death of a released prisoner, Red said, “These walls are funny: first you hate them. Then you get to know them. Comes a time when you depend on them. ”[Darabont] Red displays a lack of hope, believing that he and everyone else sentenced to Shawshank, is meant to be there for the rest of their lives, and should not waste their spirits on hope. During Red's interaction with Andy, Red's behaviour relating to hope changed.
At first Red shows his lack of hope by saying, “Every man has his breaking point. ”[Darabont] It was evident at this point in which Red believed hope only leads to disappointment, and at some point everyone reaches this disappointment. Yet after time interacting, and talking to Andy, Red began to find hope, after Andy had given Red a goal, a purpose. Andy had instructed Red to find something Andy had left for him, if Red ever got out of Shawshank. Andy ended up escaping, and soon after, not much more time spent in prison, Red is given parole from Shawshank, just as he seemed to be giving up hope.
Red soon began to sink into a depression and became confused, after he realized that his reputation of being the “man who can get you things” meant nothing. Outside Shawshank, he was scared. The world has changed so much during his time in Shawshank. He, like Brookes, thought about ways to break his parole so he could be sent back to prison. His life outside of prison was truly upsetting and the only thing that was keeping him alive was the purpose Andy had given him. So Red went and found what Andy had left him, and it was a letter inviting Red to come live with him in Mexico.
Red set off, with the funds that Andy had included with the letter, in hopes to find Andy. “I hope to make it across the border. I hope to see my friend Andy and shake his hand. I hope the pacific is as blue as in my dreams. I hope. ”[Darabont] Red says this while he is on the bus heading towards Texas. Red displays hope in a brighter light, when hope is partnered with a goal and something to look forward to, one can truly experience and enjoy life. If Red did not have the hope to meet Andy, Red may have suffered the same fate as Brookes, and would not have been able to feel freedom once again.
Secondly, a character that displays a level of hope is Brookes Halten. Brookes had been at Shawshank for 50 years, and is an example of how without hope, or without a goal, one can not achieve happiness and live a satisfying life. With Brookes lack of hope, he simply just became a part of the prison system and lost belief that he'd ever be free. For thirty-eight of the fifty years he served at Shawshank Brookes had been the librarian. He grew comfortable with that not hoping for anything more. Red reaffirmed this evidence, when he said, “In here, he’s an important man.
He’s an educated man. Outside, he’s nothing. Just a used up con with arthritis in both hands. ”[Darabont] When Brookes is announced parole, he grew afraid for the surprise of what he had lost all hope for came true, but instead now he had no goal outside the walls of Shawshank and tried to kill Haywood, another prisoner; in hopes to remain a prisoner, but was unsuccessful. When Brookes left the prison, he had nothing, nothing to strive for and nothing to live by. With no motivation, there could be no hope, which sent Brookes into a depression.
Growing more confused and scared by the outside world, he wrote a letter to his past inmates, “I don’t like it here, I’m tired of being afraid all the time. I’ve decided not to stay”[Darabont]. Evidently it shows without hope, Brookes was sent into an immense sadness, and took his life. Brooke very clearly shows how when one has no goals or hopes, one could slip into a deep sadness with no direction. Finally, In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne is the greatest example of how hope can cause one to complete a difficult task or reach their goals.
Firstly, Andy never forgot about outside the prison walls, which allowed him to keep his mind on his goal to leave one day and keep his hopes up. He began to preform tasks for the prison in order to stay in touch with the outside world and fuel his hope. He was sending letters, trying to get books for the library, and doing bills for the warden and guards, while sending money to Randall Stevens- a fake person he had created. Secondly, when Andy escaped the prison, he is in no way depressed or confused, bet instead relieved.
He takes the money from Randall Stevens, and lives the life that he has always dreamed about and hoped for in prison. Showing that if one stays true to their purpose and maintains said purpose, they can live as they hope. Also, Andy displays how hope can lead to determination with his escape of the prison. As Andy started to dig his tunnel and plan his escape, he developed a determination that would build his hope. With Andy's escape Red said, “I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall with it.
Old Andy did it in less than twenty. [Darabont] Andy proved through hope partnered with determination, one can achieve their goal sooner than one may expect. Finally, Andy also shows how it is important to raise others spirits and increase hope through motivation. At one point, Andy is left alone in the Warden's office, and plays beautiful music for the inmates, boosting the prisoners hopes, and reminding them what freedom is. Red responded to Andy playing the song, “I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.
I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a grey place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free. ”[Darabont] With this quote, one can see how lifting others spirits, can raise peoples hopes, and allow them to remember what they hope for. Andy Dufresne's character is an excellent symbol of hope, remaining determined even when times are bad, and raising others hopes to keep them on the right track.
In the film The Shawshank Redemption, it reveals what possibilities one can achieve from maintaining hope, and the consequences one has to losing hope through three characters: Ellis Redding, the free man; Brookes Halten, the man who lost hope; and Andy Dufresne, the man who never lost his goal. In the words of Andy Dufresne, “There’s something inside that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. It’s yours. Hope. ”[Darabont] As long as one holds on to their hope and remembers a purpose, no one can take their hope away from them, one can only give it up themselves by giving up.