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The Shawshank Redemption Essay-Please can i have some feedback

The Shawshank Redemption
Directed by Frank Darabont
Based on a novella by Stephen King

Question: Analyse how contrasting settings were used to explore one or more themes.
“settings “ may refer to physical places as well as social and historical contexts

The film “The Shawshank Redemption” it is based on the Stephen King novella (Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption) its directed and produced by Frank Darabont is set in Maine,the story is narrated by Ellis Boyd “Red” the film is mostly set with a dark and gloomy look and feeling to make the place seem like it’s full of despair or evil, The film is about a young successful banker named Andy Dufresne who is wrongfully convicted of killing his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a double life in prison.

In the film “The Shawshank Redemption” it begins with darkness and then goes onto Red’s parole and in this particular scene we can already see how the room lighting is dark and gloomy showing despair and what shawshank prison is meant to look and feel like so its not taken as a bright,sunny,happy place wear all these bad people go for a social gathering we get a P.O.V shot of Red’s view when he first walks through the door and it gives a broad vision of what he is walking into and what we can see and take from this is that there is 4 people in there for Red’s parole and we can also see that the rooms blinds are almost shut giving the room a dark and gloomy feeling also the only thing that you are able to hear are Red’s footsteps and the shuffling of paper on the desk which gives the feeling of a serious meeting to let someone who did evil out into society. We can also compare this scene to the ending scene of Red’s other parole which the blinds were open all the way allowing sunlight into the room giving the feeling of hope and freedom, There is also 5 new parole boards 1 of which a female, You can also hear some chatter as Red is opening the door but as he is in the room it goes silent and serious following this scene we get a close up of Reds rejection stamp which gives the idea or feeling that getting out is a dream that will never happen. We later get a high angle looking over the prison which is grey,forbidding,and made out of stone; it also allows us as the viewers to see how big and difficult the prison would be to escape. The theme here is despair and evil and Frank Darabont added this into the film because he wants to show and give the viewers the feeling of prison and what Red was feeling and felt like.

Later on in the film we are are introduced to Andy Dufresne who was wrongfully accused of the murder of his wife and her lover to which he got sentenced to life in prison throughout his time in prison he comes across a guy named Bog Diamond who is the leader of a gang called the sisters and took and Andy as a easy target which they then proceed to beat and rape andy wich was soon a routine for 2 years but thanks to a community service offering Andy was able to escape from bog and help with that (Reds voice over)“If things had gone on that way i do believe this place would have got the best of him…” While on the roof helping with community service Andy overhears one of the guards named Byron Hadley speaking how his dead brother inherited $35,000 to him and how its all going to get taxed Andy being a banker he knew his ways around it and decided to help the guard which then lead to a good consequence being all of the prisoners on the roof get cold beers,Andy sees here that he can make a positive difference and starts to feel some hope(Reds voice over “I think he did it to feel normal again,if only for a short while”). We see here that once Andy makes that deal with the guard the sun is shining will its going down giving the scene a allround warm,happy,hopeful feeling to it which we also see that with Andy letting everyone have some cold beers he’s binding relationships with them so he’s not by himself,we also hear everyone talking to one another with the golden glow of the sun on them while andy sits by himself with a big smile thinking about the positive difference he did and what he could possibly do in the future. The theme in this scene is hope the reason Frank Darabont added this scene is to give the audience a sense of hope for what Andy is about to accomplish and that there may just be light for him in prison this also relates to the real world because it shows how no matter what situation your in to always have hope and never stop giving up on that hope even if times loof tuff.

In our latter scenes we meet a character whose name is Brook’s Hatlin he has been in prison for 50 years for the convicted murder of his wife and daughter and he’s 73, Brooks spends his time being the librarian at the prison which the library is very dark,no light,cold,moldy,made of stones its not a very welcoming library, although brooks time in prison is almost up and on the “outside hes a used up can with athrites in both hands…’’ Brooks doesn’t remember what it’s like in the real world. He knows he won’t be able to survive in the real world because of his ruiteine in the prison and how he depends on it. These walls are funny. First you hate em then you get used to em enough time passes,you come to depend upon em that’s institutionalised” so once that’s gone he’s a nobody out there.The day brooks gets out he takes the bus and is seated on the left side in the shade with everyone looking away from him showing he doesnt fit in with society and has no one on the outside this is symbolic of despair, Once Brooks makes it to his apartment he gets the place is all dark and gloomy with a feeling and look of loneliness and despair brooks then goes out to feed some pigeons we see him with his head down which is symbolic of his depression, a looking inwards”closing off”,loss of hope. The birds are symbolic of freedom but these birds are not flying.Brooks then heads off to his job and feels like he’s out of place in this real world and can’t keep up. He then heads home stands upon a desk with a roope carves into the buildings wood “Brooks was here” and commits suicide due to his deppresion of being lonnly and out of place and not fit for the world, We see how the prison was can make such a big impact on Brooks life to which when they get out they feel like they have nothing and would rather stay in prison for the rest of their time on earth. We can also compare these series of scenes with Red’s parole, In Reds he is sat on the right hand side of the bus in the sunshine which symbolises hope mostly everyone enjoying life looking forward or at the view, And once Red makes it to the apartment there is the curtains open with light in there also it looks a bit more homely but still has that sad gloomy feeling. The theme in these series of scenes is Hope and despair the reason Frank Darabont added these series of scenes and themes is so that as a viewer we can feel empathy for brooks and relate to how he is feeling and what he is going through so as a viewer we understand what is happening and what he must be going feeling.

In conclusion we saw how contrasting settings were used to explore one or more themes.
“settings “ with Red’s parole scenes and how dark and gloomy the prison was and how it was introduced, We also saw a theme of hope with Andy’s positive change he made with the guards and prison and we also saw hope and despair in Brook’s scenes of him finally leaving prison after 50 years of prison time.

Kia ora!

In your intro - you need to set up the question you are answering more clearly - use key word “setting” and “idea” - I should know which settings you will be contrasting - for example - inside Shawshank prison and outside the prison.

You mention a range of settings throughout but it is hidden in a range of other discussion. I would suggest working on your topic sentences so that you are using key words from the question to signpost what your argument is. For example, starting a paragraph “Darabont presents another important setting which is the parole board room, which contrasts with/helps us understand the idea of…” Ensure you are contrasting the settings explicitly, not just scenes.

In terms of the idea - try to unpack this more, if the theme is hope and despair, then try to unpack this more, what is Darabont saying ABOUT hope and despair?

Lots of good evidence - clearly a solid understanding of the text - so just be more explicit and detailed with how you are answering the question you have chosen and you will be writing awesome essays :slight_smile: