Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Redemption of Andy Dufresne

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read this if you have not seen the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, nor read the novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King.

“Fear can hold you prisoner, Hope can set you free”

One of my favorite movies is 1994's The Shawshank Redemption. The obvious message of this movie is that you need hope in order to survive. It is even spelled out in a part of "Red" Redding's (Morgan Freeman) last soliloquy in the film. However, hope alone is not how the main character, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) escaped from life in prison. There were a few other tools that were needed.

  • The character of Andy is a man sentenced to two terms of life in prison for murder. Unfortunately, he was falsely accused. He finally makes it out of prison after 20 years during which he fashioned a 19-year long escape.

With hope, you can have the patience to take the time needed to make your goal real.


  • When Andy makes up his mind to escape, he knew that the best way out would take years, but as his other choice was to die in prison as a murderer, he had nothing to lose.

With hope, you can persevere the day-to-day struggle as long as you believe that your goal will be attained.


  • Whenever possible Andy made the most of the little joys in life, like a cold beer after a hard day’s work, listening to beautiful music, or the reading of a good book.

With hope, you do what is needed to make it through the day.

Yes, it's true that Andy; before prison an innocent man, becomes an embezzler and a forger inside, ends up a wanted felon. However, the lessons taught in this film can benefit many of us to obtain our dreams. Please correct people whenever you can…The Shawshank Redemption is NOT a “prison movie.” It is a primer on the power of hope and what you can accomplish if you continue to believe in it.

I just need to remember this movie when I most need to; when I feel ready to give up, when I want to wallow in self-pity. I need to give up my fears and really start to believe in hope.

Good luck to everyone reading this in whatever you wish to accomplish.

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