StephenKing wrote the novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”and went ahead to use Andy Dufrense and Eliss Red as the maincharacters. Andy was wrongly convicted for allegedly being involvedin the murder of his wife. Similarly, Red is also accused ofcommitting a similar offense. Both characters are sent to Shawshankprison in Maine, a state prison that is well known for its austerity.Through the personalities of the inmates, Stephen King can create aninteresting plot that looks at prison life from a differentperspective. Therefore, this particular essay seeks to discuss howAndy exemplifies redemption.
First,the story revolves around Andy. He illustrates redemption through hisvaluable knowledge of banking. His actions and intellectual abilityplay a crucial role in bringing the much-needed reforms to Shawshankprison. Despite the violent correctional officers and corruptwardens, Andy manages to gain respect because of his skills. In thebook, the author says “So there was a need of Andy’sservices…they just set him to work washing dirty money instead ofdirty sheets.” (King 31). In this case, Andy used his skills tohelp the wardens with various illicit financial schemes. Throughthat, the guards started to like him thus, shielding him from thepunitive conditions that other inmates were subjected to hence,demonstrating redemption.
Additionally,Andy exemplifies redemption by escaping from prison. At first, Andythought that the new revelation made by Tommy Williams could resultin a new trial and chance to be released (King 42-47). Tommy claimedthat a former cellmate had bragged how he killed a rich golfer and alawyer’s wife. On the contrary, Norton, the corrupt warden, scoffsat the story and ensures Tommy is moved to another prison. Thatordeal intensified Andy’s hopes to escape from prison. The authorsays “In 1975, Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank” (King 55).According to the narrator, Andy used his hammer to dig a hole throughthe prison wall, a task that took him over 20 years. After that, Andybroke into a sewage pipe, crawled through it before emerging into thefield and vanished through the prion’s outer perimeter (King 47).He focused on his master plan to escape rather than reflecting on hiscrime. He wanted to escape because he knew he had been wronglyconvicted. Andy’s act of regaining freedom is a clear demonstrationof redemption.
Moreimportantly, Andy’s redemption is exemplified through his effortsof ensuring that a library is established at Shawshank prison so thatit can be a safe refuge for himself together with other inmates. Andywanted to give the prisoners a chance to escape from their bondage.In the book, the author states “Andy`s requests for library fundswere routinely turned down until 1960” (King 29). That shows howmuch he was determined to ensure that the inmates got access to alibrary that would enable them to gain more knowledge while servingtheir jail terms. The sacrifices he made also demonstrates his act ofredemption.
Fromthe essay, it is evident that Andy was one of the main characters inthe book who exemplified redemption through his actions andpersonalities. The paper discussed how Andy demonstrated redemptionby using his banking skills to help Norton with money laundry andother dubious transactions. He also redeemed himself by escaping fromprison knowing that he was wrongly convicted. Lastly, his decisionand sacrifices made towards building a library for the inmates alsoform part of a redemption act.
King,Stephen. "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption." S.King Different seasons (1982):1-72.