Hope and Defeat In Shawshank

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Life always sends unfortunate situations our way. Much of the time it seems there is no end in sight. It seems like everything is caving in, and the situation is simply hopeless. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Even when we are bombarded with adversity our spirit is what keeps our head above water. Our will to survive serves as our greatest strength. It gives us hope when all else fails, and gives us the drive to endure even our darkest hour. The film is an exploration into that inner self. In The Shawshank Redemption the character of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is put to the test. Discovering that his wife has been having affair only after she and her secret lover are murdered, Andy is blamed for the murder and wrongfully imprisoned. Andy is sent to Shawshank Prison. Through the symbolism used in the movie and by analyzing selected pieces of dialogue it will be shown that the character of Andy is a representation of our inner being and human spirit. Andy is a metaphor for our spirit's perseverance through the dark times in our lives. Finally, it will be shown that a main ideology of the movie is acceptance. When we as people accept our lives and the situations that fall upon us that is when we can overcome to find peace, contentment, and lastly redemption on our own terms. To accomplish all this, the film must be looked at in four stages. Stage one is Andy in denial. It shows that his pain is only magnified by the fact that his mind has not let go of, or accepted the idea that this turn of events has actually befallen him. Stage two is the collapse. In this stage Andy's world begins to crumble around him. This stage might also be called "no end in sight." Stage three is the beginnings on the road to acceptance. This stage is the bulk of the movie. In this stage Andy must grow, stay strong, and learn to survive in his new situation. Finally, there is stage four. Th…