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Shawshank Redemption- How does the Director, Frank Darabont, convey the message that the power of Imagination can set people free?

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Introduction

How does the Director, Frank Darabont, convey the message that the power of Imagination can set people free? Imagination is the ability to form ideas and images in the mind which have not been experienced before. It is about being able to think outside the confines of reality and let your mind wander where it has never been before. Andy Dufresne, the innocent convict, is given two life sentences back to back. No one really knows that he wasn't the murderer of his wife and her lover, not even Andy himself. However, due to the scenes beforehand and the way Andy doesn't deny it with great strength, we assume that he is guilty and that he deserves the time he received. He is unable to deny the allegations as he was very drunk on the night of the crime and therefore he couldn't remember much and the court did not believe him. When we first see the prison, we see the sheer scale of the gloomy edifice which gives a menacing effect. The surroundings are beautiful but they are contained with the sombre walls, forbidden to enter the outside world. ...read more.

Middle

He suffered many beatings and bruises and the Sisters never gave up. What finally freed him from their hold was his very own imagination. He made up lies about a "bite reflex" and although he gets beaten up worse than he ever has been, he never sees Boggs again. After a week in the "hole" Boggs is beaten up by Hadley and is sent to a low security hospital. Andy never sees Boggs again and it's due to the fact he imagined up a story to scare him. The main thing that Andy brought to the prison which helped his as well as the other men was his hope and persistence. When the records arrive in reply to his letters for an improved library, he decides to play "The Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart. He plays it over the speaker system so all the prisoners hear the magnificent music. Darabont makes music a major aspect of this scene and doesn't use music much in the rest of the movie. They all imagine that they are free at that point, because the music lifts them up. ...read more.

Conclusion

He thinks about the sea, and the way that "it has no memories". He finally decides to leave after nearly serving 20 years in prison. He is imaginative with is departure, dressing up in Norton's clothes. He also exchanges the record book of banking detail for a bible. In that Bible, he keeps his rock hammer so the guards wouldn't find it in their routine searches of the cells. This is very creative and keeps him undercover while he works on his wall. The most important part of the movie is when Andy Dufresne finally escapes from the prison. He spent 19 years gnawing away at a concrete wall several feet thick with a rock hammer merely six inches in size. His imagination of what lies beyond the wall brings him preservation and determination which is what got him through that wall. The wall wasn't the only obstruction from the outside world; he has to crawl 50m through a sewage pipe filled with human waste. Darabont makes it seem to us that without Andy's imagination, he would not have escaped Shawshank prison. This message, that imagination sets you free, can be seen throughout the whole movie. Darabont makes and issue of it when the men drink beer on the roof, when Andy fights off the Sisters, and when Andy escapes the prison. ...read more.

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