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Shawshank Redemption

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Shawshank Redemption

Most of the inmates at Shawshank prison have been there most of their lives. Long ago they left the life that they knew so well and developed a new lifestyle. For them, the homes where they used to live are no longer as familiar as they once were. They have become accustomed to their new surrounding and accepted the fact that Shawshank is now the only home they'll have. There is a certain feeling of safety that comes with everyday routine life. Just waking up one morning knowing that you have places to go, things to do. Knowing that when the day is over you'll be right back where you started the day ready to do it all again tomorrow, see the same faces, do the same job. For the prisoners at Shawshank, their lives were run by the warden and they have come to realize and accept this. Every once in a while one of them would be released back into the world but this seldom happened and they knew it. When Brooks and Red were released, both had a hard time adjusting to the environment they were once forced to leave. As Red confesses during the movie, "All I do anymore is think of ways to break my parole so maybe they'd send me back. Terrible thing to live in fear. Brooks Hatlen knew it. Knew it all too well. All I want is to be back where things make sense. Where I won't have to be afraid all the time." These men had been in prison so long that it was all they knew. Things had changed so much that they barely recognized the world anymore and it scared them. All they wanted was to feel safe again, to go back to what they knew, to the only place that felt like home.

Throughout the movie it's evident that hope is something that is very important to Andy. He talks about it often and it's easy for the viewer to see that it's one of the only things keeping Andy going. In the following conversation, Andy is confessing to Red how hope is a good thing and he believes in it:

Andy: ...there are places in the world that aren't made out of stone, that there's, there's somethin' inside that they can't get to, that they can't touch. It's yours.

Red: What are you talkin' about?

Andy: Hope.

Red: Hope? Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It's got no use on the inside. You'd better get used to that idea.

Andy: Like Brooks did?

In this scene, Andy shows how it is so important



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