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Analysis FROM THE Shawshank Redemption Idea Essay

In the marketing, prisons will always be depicted as a horrible and terrifying place. The movie The Shawshank Redemption is a perfect example that helps the media's recommendation about prisons. In the film we are unveiled to Andy Dufresne, played out by Tim Robbins who's a banker that is wrongfully convicted of murdering his better half and her fan, He is convicted and is also sentenced to serve two life phrases back to back. While aiming to survive and discover his prison identity, he fulfills and befriends Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding (Morgan Freeman), a peddler, and Brooks Hatlen (Adam Whitmore) a lifelong inmate, among other inmates. In his attempt to fit into the prison subculture Andy sorts a business-type marriage with the captain of the guards Captain Bryon Hadley (Clancy Dark brown) and Warden Samuel Norton (Bob Gunton), as well as many other guards on personnel at Shawshank Prison.

The movie offers an insider's check out various areas of jail life. These characteristics include jail culture; specifically safeguard subculture and inmate subculture. The movie also shows prison modification, as initiation, prisonization or institutionalization and rehabilitation. The movie provides known reasons for how prison is employed as consequence, and just how prison could work like a machine.

Prison Culture

Guard Subculture

There are various different types of guards in prisons, these include the rule enforcer, hard liner, people employee, synthetic officer, and loner (Cesaroni, 2009a). The rule enforcer is a very inflexible guard who is only thinking about control and custody. These types of guards do not want to make a deal with the inmates. The hard liner is a vitality hungry officer, who likes to punish also to show authority. People worker guard type is commonly an older, more experienced guard who depends on their verbal skills, and good sense. The Synthetic official is a guard who treats the inmate rather, and will probably follow the guidelines closely, depending on situation. The loner shield is someone who strictly enforces the rules, and must constantly confirm him/herself to the other guards.

The Warden Samuel Norton in the film Shawshank Redemption is depicted as a people staff member in the very beginning of the movie. That is assumed because the Warden is been shown to be a reform-minded authority. The Warden is also shown to be a devote Religious; in the field when he is first launched to the audience, he points out "I believe in a couple of things, self-discipline and the bible". However as the film progresses we see that the Warden Samuel Norton is a superb example of the hard liner officer, due to various activities. The Warden shows his true mother nature to be that of a hardliner safeguard, when he conspires to get Tommy Williams killed so that Andy doesn't have a chance of getting out of jail. Another example that the Warden is known as to be always a hardliner guard is that he's using the inmates as free labor, while taking bribes from fighting businesses. The film Shawshank Redemption outlines the head shield, Captain Byron Hadley to be a good illustration of the guideline enforcer. When Captain Hadley is launched to the audience he is yelling at a fresh inmate "You eat when you're informed to consume, you shit whenever we say you shit, you piss whenever we say you piss" in response to the question "When do we eat?" This depicts that Hadley's role is to enforce the guidelines. Hadley enjoys being a vicious and extreme safeguard who loves horribly beating the inmates. The Captain also beats a fresh prisoner to death on Andy's first night time in prison.

Inmate Subculture

Inmate subculture is described as the norms, beliefs, values, ideologies, symbols, and terminology specific to a group of inmates in prison (Ishwawan & Neugebauer, 2001). These norms, worth, beliefs, and attitudes are stripped from the inmates when they first enter into the prison which then changes to manipulation, deceit and a legal lifestyle (Stojkovic, Stan & Lovell, 1998). You can find two models for inmate subculture, the deprivation model and the importation model (Ishwawan & Neugebauer, 2001). The Deprivation model shows that the prisoners put up with and get frustrated because of the absence of liberty, privacy, free usage of goods and services, heterosexual romantic relationships, autonomy and security (Stojkovic, Stan & Lovell, 1998). This theory shows that the inmate subculture is obvious because of the aches and pains of imprisonment. As the importation model or useful model explains that the subculture is apparent because the prisoners are replicating the exterior world. This model includes the prisoner-staff active, 3 types of inmates, various racial groupings within the prison population, type of offence, record of recidivism (re-offending), personality distinctions (prior to imprisonment), power of "politicians" (the surface of the inmate communal hierarchy), work gangs, work categories, and erotic "deviation" which would immediately influence inmate subculture. Both inmate subculture models comprise of a habit code, a electricity hierarchy, an monetary system for illicit goods and service distributions and "argot" rules (Ishwawan & Neugebauer, 2001).

Argot guidelines are a set of terms that inmates use to make reference to various functions in the prison subculture (Ishwawan & Neugebauer, 2001). The jail argot tasks include terms such as fish, rat, gorilla, center-men, vendor, ball buster, troublesome, real man, wolf, fag and punk. Seafood is a new inmate; in the film all the new inmates are called fish by the other inmates. As the new inmates are walking within is another (older) inmate who's making gestures about "reeling-in fish". A center-man is an unpopular inmate who will try to ingrate with the prison authority. In the film, Andy would be a great example, as he helps the guards (and the Warden) with their fees and manages their money. However when asked about any of it, Andy denies the lay claim. Andy is also well-liked by the other inmates, after they become familiar with him, thus he'd not be a complete middle man. Brooks is another exemplory case of a middle man, yet, in the movie Brooks is popular, and everyone prefers him. A Vendor or peddler is an inmate who sells when given the opportunity, in cases like this Red is a perfect example. Red is "the person that can get it for you, cigs, brandy, anything within reason". A wolf can be an inmate that will take the male role in intimate encounters. These individuals are very aggressive and are not of homosexual orientation beyond prison. Within the movie Bogs Stone the head of "The Sisters" gang is an excellent example. The gang rapes and assaults Andy many times. In cases like this Andy is the punk. Punks are forced by the wolves into the feminine role in erotic encounters

The following conditions weren't depicted in the film Shawshank Redemption. A rat is a person who explains to on the other inmates for privileges from the guards. A gorilla is a bodily strong inmate who preys on the weaker inmate by using power of the risk of pressure. A ball buster is an inmate who creates disruptions with regard to it. A tough inmate is someone who is violent and abusive towards other inmates. A genuine man can be an inmate who does his own time, and will not connect to other inmates quite definitely. A fag is an inmate whose intimate orientation is homosexual before going into the prison. This inmate willingly participates in the female role during erotic encounters. The argot tasks are part of prison adjustment.

Prison Adjustment

There are three main levels of adjustment an specific will experience when they are sentenced to spend time in jail. The phases include initiation, prisonzation or institutionalization and rehabilitation. Initiation is when the average person is first going into the jail and must confirm to jail culture. Prisonization or institutionalization is when the individual produces their prison-self. Finally treatment is the way the individual adjusts and deals with being rehabilitated and delivered back into modern culture. All three of the levels are depicted in the movie and show that initiation and rehabilitation will be the hardest stages to cope with as it pertains to prison life.

According to Wheeler, prison life and culture is in the condition of your U-shaped curve (Cesaroni, 2009b). At the top of the U is the original entry into jail which is a high stress period whether or not the individual did time before or not. The prisonization or institutionalization area of the theory is the center of the U, this is where jail culture really models in and the inmates will be the furthest using their outside selves. It has been found that inmates are on their best behavior at the start and at the end of their sentences. Once again at the end of your inmate's sentence, they experience a high stress period. However this era revolves around released from prison and the way the person will rehabilitate back to society.


According to Goffman there is a psychological process an individual must proceed through when entering jail (Ishwaran & Neugebauer, 2001). This process is referred to as mortifications of the self. Mortifications of the personal is when an inmate must give up their civilian individuality, and are obligated to look at the new institutional id to their daily lives. Essentially they are stripped of the societal personal and forced to discover who their jail do it yourself is.

The initiation process begins by first off taking any personal possessions these individuals may have with them such as money, clothing or other personal effects. The brand new inmates are then subjected to various demoralization processes which may include the cutting of the locks, disinfecting and finger printing. This process is depicted in the film when Andy is first taken to Shawshank Penitentiary. They may be marched through the backyard while the other inmates watch on, most of them getting in touch with out titles like 'Seafood'. The brand new inmates were then marched into a dark room where they meet the warden and captain of the shield. After which they are really hosed down in a cage and then tossed in tick-powder almost as if they are pets or animals. New inmates are then given a jail uniform in order that they and all other inmates in the organization will be outfitted the same sans the quantity printed on the front of the even. That quantity is the inmates' new identity while they are within those jail walls. After the prisoners in the movie have been cleansed they are given their standard and a bible before being forced to march with their cells naked.

The initiation process itself is supposed to further isolate the inmate thus separating them from the overall population. These feelings of isolation and loneliness push the inmate to get comfort somewhere else; this usually tends to be prison subculture. Clemmer areas that the inmates' lack of autonomy induces the inmate to recognize with the jail hierarchal system that is very similar to that of the outside world. By grasping and understanding this familiar position enables the inmates to get thoughts of self-worth and prestige within the jail. The inmates change to jail subculture in order to maintain a sense of safe practices and cover as well as permitting these to learn and stick to the rules of the prison. This can help placate the guards which in the end may lead to a lower sentence no further punishment. When the guards in the movie switched the lights off in the prison after bringing in the new inmates, the taunting from the more mature inmates started. Red mentioned in the film "they always go angling with first timers, don't stop until they reel someone in". What Red is wanting to say would be that the more aged inmates always taunt and name call the new inmates. The more aged inmates do not stop until someone starts to cry, which is equivalent of catching in fish Even the ones that sound like they want to be nice are taunting the new inmates. Within the film Shawshank Redemption, Red wager his fellow inmates that Andy would be the first ever to cry on the contrary Andy did not make a audio forever.


To truly understand jail and exactly how it affects the individual Goffman detailed it as a complete institution. Another way to think about prison is really as "a location of house and work where a sizable number of like-situated individuals, cut off from the wider contemporary society for an appreciable time frame, together lead an enclosed, formally administered round of life" (Ishwaran & Neugebauer, 2001). That is in the sense of the managing structure and public organization where the prison functions. Clemmer claims that prisonization or institutionalization is the procedure of socialization of any inmate in to the subculture of the prison. This process includes studying the prisons subculture such as prices, beliefs and conducts that challenge the prison personnel. Although these guidelines and subcultures are in destination to rehabilitate the offender they may reinforce some types of deviant habit as well.

Some people who type in prison won't fully adopt the prison subculture. People who agree with the prison culture generally have longer sentences, unstable personalities and have a tendency to not have fragile human relationships with people on the outside of jail (Cesaroni, 2009b). The those who resist prison culture tend to have shorter sentences, stable personalities and pretty good connections with people in world. In the film most of the characters experienced long phrases and easily bought in to the prisonization result. A prime example of this is the figure Brooks. Brooks was at the jail for 50 years, been delivered to Shawshank Penitentiary in 1905. He began to think of himself as an important man within the prison walls since he had been in fee of the library since 1912. However externally he was nothing at all, and he "couldn't get a catalogue card if he wanted to". Red said it best when discussing prisonization and the walls at Shawshank Penitentiary "the wall surfaces are funny, first you hate them, then you get accustomed to them, then you will need them". Brooks discovered the hard way while on parole, that after 50 years to be in jail and abiding by the jail cultures he could not are in normal society anymore.

Another reason for individuals to buy into the prisonization or institutionalization impacts is due to Sykes's deprivation model (Cesaroni, 2009b). This model areas that the strain and problems are caused by the depriving conditions of the jail itself which ultimately lead to the inmates dealing with prison culture mechanisms. Sykes ideas on deprivation are not far off when it comes to conditions of the jail. There is a pain in going into jail even after an inmate adjusts to their new home. They may have lost their protection under the law of liberty and are deprived from goods, services, security and the choice of any heterosexual marriage. Inmates are treated like children when you are told when to eat, when to work, when to rest and even when they may use the bathroom. The facilities are a poor environment because there are rats and a high risk of ailments anticipated to close quarters with other inmates. Inside the film, one of the new inmates asks Captain Hadley when they'll eat to which he responds that "you take in whenever we say you eat. You shit when we say you shit. You piss whenever we say you piss". This was something that Red got trouble with later once he was on parole.


Rehabilitation is an application and an objective that the penal system uses to help inmates go back to society without the fear of re-offending. Before it was believed that criminals devoted crimes because these were lazy which means inmates had a need to work hard to allow them to change (Cesaroni, 2009c). It had been believed that a strong work ethic was immediately linked to positive social behavior, thus educating inmates to work hard was seen as a way to reform them. It is now assumed that important work can result in rehabilitating an inmate because they learn skills and develop good work practices that can be used in society. This can also help the inmates when trying to get parole. Inmates who work hard while in prison are seen more favorable by the parole board, since the need to re-offend is reduced.

Rehabilitation is a science and it started being seen doing this in Canada in 1935. It had been considered that in order to rehabilitate inmates professional help from psychologists, psychiatrists and correctional professionals was needed (Cesaroni, 2009d). This proved helpful well until about 1970, when all the rights and actions categories started protesting by using riots, murders and hostage takings. At the moment the people were requiring a get rough frame of mind towards criminals as well as their wayward children (Gendreau, Smith & Goggin, 2001). After the civil unrest of the 1970s, treatment was brought back into the thoughts of corrections in new ways, it was felt that some inmates belonged locally, away from professionals rather than locked away behind pubs (Cesaroni, 2009d).

In the film Shawshank Redpemtion, treatment was shown with two different heroes, first Brooks was released on parole after 50 years in Shawshank. When Brooks was been told that his parole was granted he initially did not want to venture out. He noticed that although he was someone important within the walls of penitentiary, he'd be a no one in the exterior world. The very first thing that Brookes notices when he still left Shawshank Penitentiary was that "the world got big in a rush and that everything moved very fast". With the parole table he was able to get into a half-way house as well as get employment bagging groceries at a Foodway. However Brooks did not like his job, it was effort, it hurt his hands and he believed his manager was not very keen on him. The whole time Brooks has gone out he keeps considering committing a crime such as capturing the supervisor so that he can get back to prison. In the end Brooks hangs himself in his room at the half-way house because he cannot deal with the stress of being in society. In contrast Red had been against the parole board numerous times throughout the film. Red is finally awarded parole after portion 40 years into his life sentence. Red gets parole after informing the parole panel that "I believe rehabilitate is a made word, that he does indeed feel regret for what I did because I used to be a and stupid kid who created a crime and wants for taking it back not because I am in prison or because that is what the parole table wants to hear". Once he's released he is given the same room and the same job that Brooks acquired. Red seems that he will never get accustomed to living beyond your prison. This is because old habits pass away hard, and Red helps to keep asking his director if he may use the toilet, the manager areas that "you certainly do not need to ask but to just go". Red wants to be back Shawshank where things seem sensible but there is certainly a very important factor that ceases him, his promises to Andy.

Prison as punishment

The rules of punishment defined by Andrew Flew claim that human fighting must be there (Cesaroni, 2009e). The rule must be considered a directly related to the criminal offense, and should be directed at the offender. The consequence should be inflicted by an authorized body overlooking the embodiment of the guidelines or laws of the population where the offence was devoted. David Garland describes various interpersonal functions that relate back to the complex romance between punishment and prisons. These interpersonal functions include moral process, economic and politics control, power, knowledge, and self-control as well as cultural transformation of individual tendencies (Garland, 1991).

Punishment is a moral process in which shared values and norms derive from population (Garland, 1991). Moral process is referred to as abuse functions which try to preserve the shared values and norms. The moral process reforms the cultural order and establishments, and reconfirms interpersonal solidarity. Consequence symbolizes and enacts moral judgments, consequence becomes symbolic. Garland argues that abuse is very psychological even though it is suppose to be logical, and impassive. Prison is a ritualized manifestation of social principles. Punishment sustains a collective interpersonal conscience and sustains public solidarity. An example from the movie would be that the judge purchases Andy to serve two life phrases back to back again. While red acts a life phrase as well.

Prison as abuse is a part of a wider strategy in order to regulate the poor/lower category (Garland, 1991). The tougher punishment is always placed on those that come from poorer parts of society. The jail might use the inmates as a cheap labor force by only educating the inmates in investments, which are not available or valid in the job market. The monetary needs or dangers to top of the category are always appreciated in the victimization of the low classes. Social forces that cannot be manipulated are very important in criminal offenses and are always at play in world. Within the film Shawshank Redemption the inmates are shown doing laundry in a prison basement. Another example from the movie is the various times they will work outside (in the springtime of 1949 they would work outside tarring the rooftop), and different other outside the house working contracts. The Warden is placing other companies out of business with his prison labor. Because the prison inmates don't have a high wage rates, the Warden uses Andy for all the banking matters, and hide the extra bribes that the Warden will get. Andy also works for cheap.

Power, knowledge and discipline are part of expert knowledge, the power to change something also to discipline (Garland, 1991). Jail is also about educating prisoners so that they can be reformed and are more functioning in contemporary society. Power can be used by means of judges and the courts to incriminate the accused. Discipline is used in the daily techniques of guards, to keep order in the prison. A primary reason for punishment is also to keep order in contemporary society. The Warden has strong beliefs in religion in the movie. Shawshank Redemption has a picture when the Warden is verifying for contraband and is also pleased to see Andy reading the bible. The Warden assumes that Andy is reading the bible, when in simple fact the bible is employed to hid equipment for rebellion.

Cultural transformations are changes in frame of mind, conduct, communal organizations and relationships (Garland, 1991). These changes range from personal hygiene, expressions of anger, gender, violence, hurting and death over a period of time. In the last 500 years there has been a change in sex, violence, bodily functions, health issues, suffering and death which have moved to the private domains. Moral, financial, cultural and knowledge all make clear the complex issues of prison as abuse in contemporary society.

Prison as a Machine

In a lot of prison movies, Shawshank Redemption included, prison is depicted to operate much such as a machine in a manufacturer (Mason, 2003). This machine mainly runs on the strict set of rules and regulations that are constantly in effect. This depiction has an effect on audiences which is to showcase a person's fight for success and the process of dehumanization that is included with being incarcerated within the system itself. The actions of the prison machine are shown by the inmates themselves and exactly how they move about the jail. From when the entrances of the skin cells unanimously open allowing the prisoners to come out so that they can march down to breakfast in a row, or so they can be led into the yard entirely. Many prison videos also have a tendency to show the same monotonous tasks being done over and over again to depict the mundane routine that the prisons run on. It is acts such as these that signify the internal workings of the device, the prisoners will be the cogs and gears that work the device while the prison itself is the cold hard outside of the machine. The guidelines and regulations that make prison just like a machine are how the inmates have to be informed by the guards when they can eat, sleeping and use the facilities and exactly how long they will have to complete each process. Any violations of the rules will have implications which usually is a stay static in solitary confinement.

In the film there are numerous scenes where in fact the inmates are getting let out of the cells together, eating together and hanging out in the lawn together. Each morning they are bought to stand just outside their cell door for inspection and march right down to breakfast together, as a group. You will find two occasions in the film where these regulations are broken. The foremost is when Andy receives his first shipment of resources for his library, he locks himself in the warden's office and takes on one of the files he obtains so that everyone in the lawn can hear it. As consequence for disturbing the tranquility of the jail Andy spends a while in solitary confinement, also known as the hole. The next time is when Andy did not emerge from his cell when the guards opened up the door in the morning, the reason for that is basically because Andy was not there. Andy possessed escaped from Shawshank in the middle of the night through the opening he had been digging for a long time concealed behind his Marilyn Monroe poster. Andy never have receive a punishment for this violation because he was never found.


Prison has been depicted in a number of films over time, each of them including Shawshank Redemption, shows to the earth that prison is horrifying. Shawshank Redemption has proved that prison is a brutal place by demonstrating how different guards behave and treat the inmates, as well as illustrating what sort of inmates connect to one another and the ways in which they try to make their daily lives a bit more bearable. The movie talks about how inmates adapt to prison life from the initiation at the start of their word, to rehabilitating the offender back into normal society as well as prisonization or institutionalization the inmates' experience. The film Shawshank Redemption also explained how prison is used for consequence purposes and proved that jail can work as if it were a piece of machinery. The press has always depicted prison to be a negative place and the movie The Shawshank Redemption is a best example.

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