The 3 Life Lessons I Learned from Shawshank Redemption

Film As Text Assignment
Jono’s Shawshank Redemption Powerpoint 100
Use the following to create a powerpoint
1) Choose either Red or Andy and answer the following:
a) Get a picture from the internet of either Red or Andy and paste it into this slide, the create a
textbox and answer these questions
b) Describe one thing he learns and say why this important.
c) Describe a problem he has and explain how he tried to overcome it.
d) Describe the relationship he had with the other and explain why it was important.
(20 MARKS)
2) Choose one character from the list below and do the activities that follow:
Brooks , Warden Norton, Byron Hadley, Tommy
a) Describe their role in the film: who were they? what did they do? what happened to them? (5)
b) Describe their relationship with Andy and explain the effect of the relationship. (5)
c) What lesson(s) are we to learn from what happens to the character? (5)
(15 MARKS)
SLIDE 5 & 6
3) Choose one of the following scenes. Describe the scene and explain why the scene is
important to the film:
a) the opening scene
b) tarring of the roof
c) when Andy plays the opera
d) when Tommy is shot
e) the closing scene
(15 MARKS)
SLIDE 7 & 8
4) Some of the main themes of the film are:
Choose one of the above themes either, HOPE, FRIENDSHIP OR JUSTICE and answer the
following :
a) Describe a scene from the film that shows this theme
b) Which character/s show this theme the best and why?
a) Find out the definition of “Redemption” and write out its meaning.
b) Why do you think they decided to call the film “The Shawshank Redemption”?
(15 MARKS)
c) Your Opinion (no right or wrong answer here!)
Should prisons be places for punishment, or places for rehabilitation? What would Red argue
about this? Why?
(10 MARKS)
The 3 Life Lessons I Learned from Shawshank Redemption
I really love this article. I found it on the internet when I was researching this film for your
assignment. You don’t have to read it unless you want to but I really liked it. This guy is basically
saying that the film really taught him 3 important life lessons:
Shawshank Redemption Lesson #1: Hope Never Dies
Shawshank Redemption Lesson #2: Persistence is Key
Shawshank Redemption Lesson #3: "Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying"
SLIDE 11: The lessons for the audience
Choose one of the above life lessons and describe how the film shows this to an audience- what
scenes or characters show this life lesson?
(10 MARKS)
SLIDE 12: Your Opinion (no right or wrong answer here!)
7) Write a paragraph reviewing the film. What was good about it? What did you dislike? In what
way do you think this is a good film to use by English teachers in a high school or do you think it is
not a good film to use with young people?
(10 MARKS)
Assessment criteria for Jono
Tried his best to answer the questions in a complete way
Made an effort with adding pictures and the way he sets out the powerpoint
Jono will show his understanding of the film
Jono will write more than one sentence in each question
Jono has attempted each question and has asked for help when he has
needed it.
Just for fun:
Check out this Youtube clip:
A couple of kids made a 36 second lego version of the film- I like it
The 3 Life Lessons I Learned from Shawshank
If you have never seen Shawshank Redemption, then you are definitely missing out. The International Movie
Database has Shawshank Redemption listed as number 2 on its top 250 movies list. This movie was originally
written as a short story by Steven King (It, Green Mile, Storm of the Century) and it was adapted into a
screenplay by Frank Darabont (Green Mile) who also directed the movie. says this as a plot outline,
"Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of
common decency." I am going to share with you some of life's lessons I have learned from this movie. Warning,
this article may contain spoilers to essential plotlines of the movie. If you don't mind, continue reading, but I
would suggest that you watch the movie first, then read this article.
Shawshank Redemption Lesson #1: Hope Never Dies
In an emotional climactic part of this movie, Red, played by Morgan Freeman, is feeling hopeless and thinking he
may never get out of prison and thinking that if he ever does, he won't know how to live outside of the prison
walls that he has lived in for many decades. Andy, played by Tim Robbins, responds... "There are places in this
world that aren't made out of stone... there's something inside... that they can't get to, that they can't touch.
That's yours... Hope." Andy then goes on to ask Red to go find something the he had hid before he got put in jail,
but he wouldn't tell Red to give him something to hope for. In a letter that Andy writes to Red a bit later, he says
"Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
Shawshank Redemption Lesson #2: Persistence is Key
When people said it couldn't be done, Rocky Balboa trained harder. A group of ragtag hockey players learned
how to fly as a team and become the Mighty Ducks they were destined to be. Persistence, a major theme in
many Hollywood movies, shows up in Shawshank Redemption also. When Andy takes over as the prison
librarian, he wants to expand the library. He goes to the warden and asks his permission to write to the state
asking for funds. Although the warden says that they won't give him any money, he allows him to write anyway.
Andy writes a letter a week for many years, and finally they sent him some money and some books. Not satisfied
and feelings almost written off, he decides to write 2 letters a week and eventually has $500 a year donated to the
prison library system (This was around the 1950s, so $500 went a lot further then). Everyone told him it couldn't
be done be he didn't care. He was rejected well over 100 times, but he still persisted and that persistence paid off.
Shawshank Redemption Lesson #3: "Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying"
During Red's feeling of hopelessness, Andy responds to Red by saying "You either get busy living or get busy
dying." If you are not doing the things in your life that make you happy that allow you to truly live, then you are
simply working on dying. Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying that goes: "You're either working on recovery or
you're working on a relapse." If you aren't living life then you are truly dying inside. Do what makes you happy.
Spend time with family and friends. Enjoy what you have while you have it, because someday it may be gone.
There are probably many more of life's lessons that can be extracted from this movie, but I think that these are
the top three. I hope that this will encourage you to watch the movie again, or if you did end up reading this
without having seen it, to go and watch it and enjoy one of the best movies of all time.
Shawshank Redemption film analysis
The Shawshank Redemption is an inspiring story about Andy Dufreine and his efforts to maintain hope and
his own survival. The film begins with the story of Andy Dufresne, a young vice president of a prestigious
Portland bank, is wrongfully convicted of killing his wife and her lover. He is then sent to a jail where he
learns the lessons about life from a few of the inmates, which eventually leads to him being a part of a
corrupt scheme to launder money for the warden. But after nineteen years, Andy manages to tunnel out of
the prison and to freedom. While it appears simple on the surface, The Shawshank Redemption gives a
deeper meaning in prison life for Andy.
The title, The Shawshank Redemption, initially has an appeal to it. Redemption is to free from what
distresses or harm. With this knowledge that redemption means to be free, and Shawshank is the name of
the prison Andy is sent to. With this knowledge, we can ask ourselves how a prison can provide redemption.
The title later gains its full meaning towards the end of the movie. Andy Dufresne is redeemed through his
experience at the prison. He learns about life there, while teaching others as well. He is redeemed through
his second chance at life after his escape from the prison; hence redemption.
A major theme of the film may be the power of hope. Hope, more than anything else, drives the inmates at
Shawshank and gives them the will to live. Andy’s determination to maintain his sense of self-worth and
escapes keeps him from dying of frustration and anger towards his false incarceration. Initially, he remains
passive and reserved towards the other inmates. Only stretching out when he sees an opportunity to be
useful. Andy sets about making hope a reality in the form of the agonizing progress he makes each year
tunneling his way through his concrete wall. Red notes that Tommy William’s testimony that could prove
Andy innocence was like a key unlocking a cage. That cage, in Andy’s mind, is like hope that...
Shawshank Redemption Film Analysis
The Shawshank Redemption
For my analysis, I chose the movie The Shawshank Redemption. Frank Darabont directed Shawshank
and wrote the screenplay based on the novel Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by author
Stephen King. The movie was made in 1994 and produced by Niki Marvin. The movie stars Morgan
Freeman and Tim Robbins as two convicts serving time in a New England prison named Shawshank.
Tim Robbins plays a man named Andy Dufresne, a banker, who gets convicted of murdering his wife and
her lover and is sent to prison in Shawshank. Andy eventually becomes good friends with a fellow convict
by the name of Ellis Boyd "Red"ding (Morgan Freeman) who is able to get anything for anyone within
reason. The story follows the prison life of Andy Dufresne and his eventual escape from Shawshank's
Frank Darabont does an outstanding job of directing the movie. He interweaves scenes with nice fluid
shots. The shots are not jarring or rough cut. Darabont tends to take the story at a distance allowing the
characters to establish their traits to the audience instead of pushing many different angles at the
audience. The position of the camera is intricately placed in all scenes. The movie is a good example of
classical cinema. One of my favorite traits of this movie is how the whole story looks like it was filmed with
a blue filter. The filters give a special beauty to the scenes, which in turn causes more dramatic feelings
for the audience. With this filter the movie tends to bring out the two different colors of blue and
brown. The blues of the uniforms are all the more dramatic compared to the drab brown buildings
surrounding the prisoners. The colors also produce irony in the last scene of Red and Andy on the
beach. The blue and brown colors that once gave feelings of confinement and despair in the prison are
now colors of freedom and happiness.
Themes, Motifs, and Symbols
The Burden of Isolation and Imprisonment
Each of the inmates inside Shawshank Prison is locked up metaphorically as well as literally, hiding from himself or unable to
function in the unregulated world that extends beyond the prison walls. There are many levels of isolation inside Shawshank, from
the large, enclosed recreation yard to the smaller work crews down to the cellblock, cells, and, finally, solitary confinement. The
prison is thus a multilayered world, a microcosm of the world outside that the prisoners have been forcibly removed from. The bars,
strict schedules, sadistic keepers, and predatory Sisters only add a sense of entrapment and suffocation to these layers of isolation.
Shawshank’s confines, however, also highlight the extent to which the prisoners have isolated themselves and compromised their
sense of identity. Beneath the hardened criminals lie insecure, maladjusted outcasts, many of whom believe they can’t function
outside the prison system. Elwood Blatch, for example, is a braggart and an egomaniac whose exaggerated accounts of his
exploits fool none of his listeners into believing that he is the master criminal whom he makes himself out to be. Red, meanwhile,
identifies Andy as the part of himself who never let go of the idea of freedom. Freedom is a frightening concept for Red, who
dreams of being paroled but eventually struggles to find his place in society after almost forty years in prison. Recounting Andy’s
escape, therefore, allows Red to face his fears and find the psychological freedom he seeks.
The Power of Hope
Hope, more than anything else, drives the inmates at Shawshank and gives them the will to live. Andy’s sheer determination to
maintain his own sense of self-worth and escape keeps him from dying of frustration and anger in solitary confinement. Hope is an
abstract, passive emotion, akin to the passive, immobile, and inert lives of the prisoners. Andy sets about making hope a reality in
the form of the agonizing progress he makes each year tunneling his way through his concrete cell wall. Even Andy’s even-keeled
and well-balanced temperament, however, eventually succumb to the bleakness of prison life. Red notes that Tommy Williams’s
revelation that he could prove Andy’s innocence was like a key unlocking a cage in Andy’s mind, a cage that released a tiger called
Hope. This hope reinvigorates Andy and spreads to many of the other inmates in the prison. In his letter addressed to Red, Andy
writes that “hope is a good thing,” which in the end is all that Red has left. Red’s decision to go to Mexico to find Andy is the
ultimate proof of Red’s own redemption, not from his life as a criminal but from his compromised state, bereft of hope and with no
reason to embrace life or the future. Red’s closing words, as he embarks tentatively onto a new path, show that hope is a difficult
concept to sustain both inside the prison and out.
Corruption and Crime
Shawshank blurs the line between right and wrong and challenges the notion that isolating and reforming criminals will turn them
into law-abiding citizens. Instead, the prison is a den of corruption, greed, bribery, and money laundering. Everyone exploits the
system for their own gain, from Red, who can smuggle anything into the prison, all the way up to the wardens, who profit from
forced prison labor. Andy’s willingness to launder Warden Norton’s slush money initially serves as a survival technique, a means of
protecting himself by extending his good will to the administration. His complicity and knowledge of the warden’s illegal enterprises,
however, keep Norton from ever releasing him for fear that Andy would reveal the warden’s secret. The fact that Shawshank is as
corrupt and tainted as the outside world further justifies Andy’s escape from a hypocritical, exploitative system that cares little for
the prisoners’ lives or rehabilitation.
Time serves as both a source of torment as well as the backdrop for the slow, eventual achievement of Andy’s escape, his
seemingly impossible goal for nearly twenty-eight years. Shawshank redefines the passage of time for the inmates, especially for
the “lifers” like Andy and Red, who can only look forward to death. Hours can seem like a lifetime, and every day seems
indistinguishable from the next, adding to the loneliness and burden of imprisonment. Ironically, however, time also proves to be the
means of Andy’s escape and salvation and gives him hope throughout his quarter-century in Shawshank. An amateur geologist,
Andy realizes that dripping water can erode stone over the span of several million years and that with his small rock hammer and a
lot of patience, he too can break through concrete. His devotion to chipping away at the concrete not only allows him to measure
the passage of time but also gives him the sense of hope that the other inmates lack.
Rita Hayworth
The pinup posters of Rita Hayworth and the other women represent the outside world, hope, and every inmate’s desire to escape to
a normal life. Andy admits as much when he tells Red that sometimes he imagines stepping right through the photograph and into
another life. More literally, Rita Hayworth really does remind Andy of his desire to actually break out of Shawshank because of the
chiseled hole in the concrete that the posters conceal. As a result, Rita Hayworth embodies the sense of hope that keeps Andy
alive and sane and distinguishes him from the other inmates. Even though it takes Andy more than twenty-five years to hammer his
way through the wall, the mere fact that he has something to work for keeps him from lapsing into bouts of self-pity as the other
inmates do. Having a mission and something to look forward to—even before he knew he would use the hole to break out—kept
Andy alive and gave him his “inner light.”
The rocks Andy sculpts serve as a cover to justify owning a rock hammer, but they also represent the spirit of hope that he exudes.
As an amateur geologist, Andy is undoubtedly distracted from the doldrums of daily prison life by the rocks. Continuing to pursue
his hobby gives him a sense of normality and control over his life that many other inmates lack. Displaying his collection of polished
rocks on the windowsill of his cell also gives Andy a sense of accomplishment and means to measure the passage of time. More
important, however, sculpting the pebbles give Andy hope and a means to fend off despair. Giving these sculptures away to Red
and other inmates also represents Andy’s ability to transfer his sense of hope—his “inner light” as Red calls it—to some of the other