Character Of Andy In “Shawshank Redemption”

Andy’s Changed Life In the film, Shawshank Redemption, directed by Frank Darabont, insight was given to the life of prisoners in bondage. Tim Robbins’ character Andy gave an excellent illustration on how new prisoners enter a world of unknown dangers and survive. Andy’s metamorphosis from “lanky new fish” to a man of prestige was definitely interesting. His change reflected on his fellow prisoners, the Prison staff, and himself as well during his sentence. Andy exemplified a man who could compromise with his surroundings and make the best of every moment.

The story of Andy’s life in the Shawshank Redemption gave insight for every man beginning his prison journey. Upon the arrival of all new prisoners stood Andy, a man convicted of murder. Like any other, bets were placed on him to challenge how long he could last. Andy began his new life quiet and concrete. His fellow prisoners had no idea what type of man he would become. After being attacked and raped on numerous occasions Andy had to stand up for himself. As he gradually made friends with Morgan Freeman’s character, Redd, his network grew. He needed things and Redd got it for him.

From that point on because of his attitude people grew interested. Andy became one of the most friendliest and dependable friends any of the prisoners ever had. The ways he carried himself and acted upon situations were accepted throughout the entire prison. Once he became well-known it was as if he was the leader of a new clan and the people enjoyed following him. He opened pathways for the men and fought for their education. Through him the prisoners were able to enjoy a library and earned opportunities to get their GED or anything else. Andy was definitely no longer a “lanky new fish” by the time he left Shawshank Prison.

As for the Prison staff at Shawshank Prison, Andy’s attitude and persona took a toll on them as well. Andy was never one to cause trouble or engage in anything involving violence. After a bold act towards the head officer Andy became the accountant and tax preparer for almost the whole Prison Staff. He helped to set up college funds and savings for many of the officers. Andy’s work became so good that the warden himself used him as his personal accountant to maintain his dirty money. At this point Andy had gained respect throughout the entire prison and the officers often looked out for him.

The Prison staff became dependable on Andy and his marvelous works. He handled and managed their money so they really had no choice but to trust him. I think it shocked every officer to see himself getting help from a prisoner. As Andy grew within the prison, it can be assumed that he became a prominent figure in maintain the prison itself. Therefore his role as a prisoner seemed to have disappeared and he was just a man. Officers may have feared him as a person because he grew with prestige but in the end they needed him. Every man can see a change in himself whether it is good or bad.

Andy definitely saw his change from when he first entered to his last days standing on in the prison yard. When he entered prison he had no idea what he had actually done. After sitting around and living from day to day he was able to realize that life is entirely too short to sit and do nothing. He had been sentence to life on behalf of each murdered person and it was nothing he could to about. He compromised, made friends, and made the best out of every moment. He grew to recite his favorite line, “I’m innocent, isn’t everybody here? Andy noticed the life of others and knew that it wasn’t a life for him. People depended on the four walls that surrounded them, but Andy understood that they were only temporary. There was life beyond what Shawshank Prison offered. As he looked in the mirror and saw how he was aging his whole attitude changed and it reflected on in his walk and even his talk. Life is all about changing and living. Andy’s life definitely changed and he lived through each moment. His fellow prisoners had first hand experience of his life as an innocent man to a man who could and would take risk.

As it shocked them, it shocked him as well. The Prison Staff didn’t clearly understand the type of man he was because he was one of a kind. I admire him because he took his surroundings and made life of it. He helped and changed people’s mind sets of life itself. Andy opened people’s hearts and minds and did it all out of his heart. I don’t believe that he needed prison to understand his purpose in life but it definitely helped him to find one. Works Cited Shawshank Redemption. Dir. Frank Darabont. Columbia Pictures, 1994. Videocassette

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