The Shawshank Redemption
Main character in the movie. Was wrongfully sent to prison for the murder of his wife. Andy did not commit the crime; he was simply at the murder scene in his car. He was going to kill them both but he was held back. Someone else killed his wife and her lover and Andy was blamed. -Ellis “Red” Redding- the man who can get you anything in prison. Red was Andy’s best friend and the only guilty man at Shawshank Prison.
Red kept Andy sane for most of the movie by being his friend and getting him what he wants/needs. Warden Samuel Norton- Warden at Shawshank Prison; although he is the warden, he shows special interest towards Andy and uses him for his skills. -Tommy Williams- Young and fresh criminal who comes to Shawshank who knows the Identity of the real killer in Andy’s case. Tommy is assassinated because of his knowledge on the topic. -Brooks Hatlen- Old librarian. Is later released from prison. Not knowing what to do in life, Brooks chooses suicide. Wrongly convicted banker Andy Dufresne is sent to prison for killing his wife and her lover.
When Andy gets to prison he learns the system and makes friends with Red, Red is the man that can get you anything in prison. Andy asks for a rock hammer as he is into geology and wants to make a chess board. Andy shows his knowledge of the law and money and helps Capt. Hadley with his money dilemma. The warden assigns Andy to the library to assist the librarian Brooks Hatlen. Andy soon becomes the warden’s second hand man to do the warden’s dirty financial work, which includes laundering money under the name “Randall Stevens”. In 1954, Brooks is released from prison, unable to adjust to the outside world he hangs himself.
Tommy Williams comes to Shawshank in 1965 for robbery. He becomes friends with Andy and Red. After Tommy hears about why Andy is here in prison he is shocked because he is proof that Andy did not commit the crime. Andy brings this information the warden, but the warden refuses to listen because if Andy is brought to justice and freed than the warden doesn’t have someone like him to do his dirty work. The warden has Tommy shot and killed by Captain Hadley. Andy tells Red that if he is ever freed from the prison, that red should go to a specific hayfield near Buxton and look under a volcanic rock for a package.
The next day at roll call, Andy is not present and his cell is empty. The warden gets so mad that he starts to destroy everything in the room and when he throws a rock at Raquel Welch’s poster, he finds a hidden pathway that Andy had created with his rock hammer over the last 20 years. Andy escaped from prison. After spending a good portion of his life in prison, Red is finally free. Red, like Brooks, can’t adapt to outside life. He remembered his promise to Andy and visits the specific spot that Andy told Red about. He finds some cash for a bus ticket to Zihuatenajo.
Red breaks his parole and travels to Texas to cross the Mexican border. On a beach in Zihuatenajo, Red finds Andy, and they both are reunited and the movie ends. 1. Reliability- Reliability is the extent of how much you can count on one person or thing to get what is needed to be accomplished. Andy shows his reliability to the people of the prison, including administrators for his chance to get the upper hand so he can accomplish what he needs to do to get himself out of prison. 2. Validity- I think validity is how true something is, how just something is, or how important something is.
Andy helps the prison workers with their taxes. His knowledge over the topic is tested and his validity is tested as well. 3. Cause and Effect- What happens and what effect comes from what happened. In The Shawshank Redemption cause and effect is very clear. From the time that Andy is trusted with finances and money laundering, the cause of his escape is planned. He wants to exploit the prison and by effect he can inherit the money under the fake identity. It is apparent in other times in the movie as well. Without the cause there would not be an effect.
Beliefs- What a person holds dear to themselves as far as morals, faith, and their personal thoughts of how one should live their life. In The Shawshank Redemption, Red chastises Andy one day in the cafeteria for having hope. Andy’s own personal beliefs are always with him and by keeping those hopes he escapes the prison. 5. Hunting and Gathering- Getting what we want by our own will and actions and storing and releasing what we have wherever want. In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy takes pieces of the wall with him to the prison yards every day.
He slowly empties his pockets on the prison yard and lets the rocks from the wall fall from him. 6. Personality- how a person is, what a person believes and how that belief shines to show what kind of person one is. In The Shawshank Redemption and in any other movie really, Personality is always present. Andy’s personality at first his quiet and he mostly keeps to himself. Even after making friends Andy is more of an Introvert than an Extrovert. 7. Status- A person’s social standing in society. A rank of sorts. Andy’s status in The Shawshank Redemption is changed from laundry duty to librarian to prison banker.
Achieved status- what you do to get to where you are, how you achieved the status that you have. Andy’s status is achieved because of the skills that he has from his previous life. His achieved status in the end is a free man. Randall Stevens. 9. Social group- The people that you are with, your friends, your group. Andy’s social group in the story goes from being alone or just with Red, to having a whole group of friends and inmates. 10. Dyad- a group of 2 people, 2 friends or even 2 enemies. Andy and Red would be the only real Dyad in The Shawshank Redemption.
The warden and captain Hadley would also be a dyad. 11. Authoritarianism- One person who is in control of a social group of groups. In The Shawshank Redemption, the warden is the authoritarian. His word goes and no one else can do or say anything about it. 12. Bisexuality- When a man or woman likes someone of the same sex but also likes someone of the opposite sex. Bisexuality is only present in the movie by “The Sisters”. In the prison there are only men, and the sisters are prison rapists who rape men. 13. Organized crime- an organized process to get what one needs or wants.
Red has a system of organized crime to get the people what they want, whether it is a pack of cigarettes or a rock hammer. 14. Retribution- Revenge or personal satisfaction by getting revenge of some sort. Andy gets his retribution by exploiting to the public what was really going on in Shawshank prison. 15. Rehabilitation- the process of being “fixed” to abide by societies laws or social rules. The entire prison system in The Shawshank Redemption is really just a form of rehabilitation by imprisoning people; the officials believe that they will be rehabilitated so that they can come into the public once again. 6. Profession- your skill of trade, the thing that you have over anyone else.
Andy’s profession was a banker and even while he is in prison, the profession is still useful. Wealth- how much money a person has, how rich or happy they are. Andy’s job for a while in the movie is to launder the money under an alias. Wealth is all that the warden seems to care about. 18. Power- how much say a person has, their voice is power and how much of the voice is power, is also power. The Warden lusts for power and wealth; ultimately, both things are what get him exploited and ultimately result in his suicide. 9. Proletarians- Workers that work for money, wage or contract workers.
The warden hires second hand workers and works off of bribes so that he may receive his own money, he cuts the prisons budget in work. 20. Faith- your beliefs or how much you believe in the validity of your beliefs. Andy always keeps his faith in hope, and in the end it was the hope that drove him to leave. I actually liked this assignment. I have seen the movie The Shawshank Redemption quite a few times. I always just looked at the movie in a sense of drama and a good story.
After looking at the terms it’s easier to see how much sociology really affects anything. In a prison system, sociology is very present and by knowing certain terms and sociological information, you can really get something out of a movie that you could not get otherwise. Sociology is present in almost every movie as there is some kind of term present that has a better underlying meaning than what is just presented over the surface. Sometimes just by knowing what kind of person a character is, it’s easy to tell what categories of sociology they can fit under.
I think sociology and this assignment are very relevant to The Shawshank Redemption in a sense that the movie is not action based. There is not a lot of action or special affects of computer graphics. The movie is all story and dialogue. It’s easier, yet harder to sense sociological terms in the dialogue as you are limited by certain kind of sociological group. I think the movie seems very different when it is viewed this way. I have seen this movie well over twenty times and I haven’t really looked at the movie in this way. I have learned quite a lot this semester and more importantly I believe they are things that I will remember.
In many classes, there aren’t many things that students take with them, with this class, I didn’t just get a grade, I got a basis to which I can view many things at different angles just by analyzing and observing what and how people do or say what they do or say. How people act in a certain group compared to how they act online or with just a few close friends. The information that was taught in this class can be readily used in everyday life compared to some classes where things are taught that one wouldn’t use so much. I enjoyed this class very much.