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Themes in Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption - Essay Example

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This essay, focuses on the themes of hope, and the pain of isolation and imprisonment in this novel. This will also show how Stephen King uses different characters and scenes to develop these themes in his novel. …
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Themes in Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
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"Themes in Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption"

Download file to see previous pages One major theme that unfolds in this book is about the pain and burden of imprisonment and isolation. In this novel, Stephen King has mainly centered the plot on prison life, and inmates at Shawshank Prison. The prisoners in this prison are locked up. This therefore, could be either literally or metaphorically. Stephen King shows the aspect of isolation through the way he has portrayed the prison setting. The prison is enclosed with walls, showing that the inmates were confined inside the prison, thus, were isolated, and denied freedom like that in the life outside the prison walls. The recreation yard in the prison is also enclosed, as well as the cells, where each prisoner lived (King Web). The prison environment in this novel, thus, represents a different world, where the inmates have been forced into after being removed from the free world. They therefore, are confined in the prison, with no opportunity of going back to the outside world, unless their term is over. The lack of freedom and alienation from the mainstream society is disheartening to most prisoners, and this has detrimental psychological effects on the prisoners.
The pain of imprisonment in this book is evident in the lives of the prisoners. These are faced with multiple challenges in the prison, and therefore, these leave them with endless pain, both physically and psychologically. The prisoners by virtue of being in prison, have to encounter violent and mean people and gangs among themselves, who torture them, both physically and psychologically. The “sisters,” which is a gang in the prison tortures other inmates by abusing them sexually. On the other hand, both the experience of isolation and imprisonment make most of the prisoners believe that they are incompetent in the outside world. Experiences in the prison have derailed the inmates psychologically, and taken away their confidence and self-esteem. Although some prisoners such as Elwood Blatch want to appear like strong and hardened, deep within, these fear if they will ever fit in life outside prison, and if they will adapt to that life after serving their jail term. Red is also shown as being afraid of coping with freedom in the outside world (King Web). Additionally, Stephen King in this novel developed the theme of hope and its power. Through the different events in this book, one realizes that the author attempts to show the audience that hope is powerful. The inmates at Shawshank have every reason to give up hope, but these have not lost hope. Therefore, it is the hope that they uphold, which is responsible for their continued living and survival. Even though the inmates are faced with the burdens that come with imprisonment and isolation, these have not given up life, nor attempted to take away their life. For instance, Andy comes out as a determined person, who fights to maintain his sense of self-worth and therefore, this virtue is sufficient for him to keep at bay any extreme sense of anger and frustration, which would result from the isolation and confinement he faces in the prison. He serves as the model of an ideal man to other prisoners, and also a epitome of hope, as characterized by his spirit, which never loses hope. Hope is also portrayed when Andy progressively tunnels the concrete wall of his cell, and finally crawls out of his cell into freedom. While outside prison, Andy writes a letter to Red, and reminds him that, “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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