All through the Novella, the driving force towards the attainment of redemption is hope. Hope, as portrayed in the text, divides the characters into two groups, including the redeemed and the unredeemed. The paper elaborates that the characters who held on to hope ultimately attained redemption and salvation from the imprisonment. However, the characters who failed to profess hope remained pessimistic and could not attain redemption from the imprisonment. Such characters could not reconcile with the outside world. Redemption, as illustrated by the text, entails a position of peace and calm. Through this paper, the discussion elaborates on hope and redemption by focusing on characters and plot analysis in the Novella.
Hope represents the central theme in the Shawshank prison. Through the profession of hope, the prisoners held in the Shawshank prison can get through each day. Though the declaration of hope, the prisoners manage to provide each other with the demeanor and inspirational antics that enable them to cope with the prison environment. Most the prisoners have experienced the harsh prison environment and hold on to hope for Redemption. Through the hope expressed by some of the prisoners, they manage to anticipate the subsequent days and also acquire happiness. For the prisoner, Andy, hope is the driving force that propels him towards attaining his main objective, which is freedom. For him, freedom is his outcome of decades of continuous hope.
The prisoner, Red, acts as a sign of hope for the rest of the prisoners. Although the Shawshank prison is isolated from the rest of the world, he smuggles various items for the prisoners across the prison walls into the prison. The prisoners, consequently get the hope of reuniting with the rest of the world. The smuggling of materials into the prison provides the prisoners with a sentimental piece of the outside, free environment. The ability of the inmate Red to give a sense of hope to the prisoners is imminent when he smuggles in a poster of Rita Hayworth and a harmer for a fellow inmate, Andy Dufrene. The request that Andy put forth to him of a poster (King and Muller 19). However, he is convinced that bringing him the poster would be an essential move to calm him and give him hope. The harmer was also necessary in enabling Andy to keep up hope by engaging in rock carving, which was his passion.
The irony presented in the text is that despite the move of Red in providing hope to the rest of the inmates, he believes that hope is toxic. According to Red, it is wrong for the prisoners to hold on to hope, and it is a hazardous idea that could result in the loss of sense and rational thinking. Red, through the expression of his feelings to the hopeful Andy, explains that as a result of increased hope, a person could live in a fantasy that could not be realized. Red believes that the prisoners must avoid being hopeful about joining and being reconciled with the outside world.
Redemption, as portrayed in the text, closely interrelates with the aspect of hope. The inmate Andy, for instance, hold a high level of hope all through his stay in prison, Andy holds to hope of eventually being free. He exhibits a quiet personality and is initially misunderstood by the rest of the inmates. However, when the inmates finally understand him, he inspires hope for the rest of them. Andy eventually manages to escape from prison and gain Redemption from the isolation after twenty-seven years of imprisonment. For the inmate Hardley, his main concern is the inheritance tax that he has to pay. The prisoner explains to the rest of the inmates this concern that he must pay inheritance tax to receive an inheritance from his brother (King and Muller 25). Andy helps him by explaining to him about the onetime gift rule of the IRS that would Redeem him from the tax payment.
By the end of the story, the character, Red, who initially did not believe in hope, change his perception, and stand regarding hope. He achieves Redemption by eventually gaining parole from prison. Following his parole, he expresses hope for various factors. Following being released from prison, he embarks on a hopeful journey towards Mexico with the hope and desire to find his friend Andy (King and Muller 71). Red, during his time working in a grocery store, realizes that he struggles to adapt to life outside prison. He discovers that he has to develop and nurture hope for him to survive outside prison.
Attainment of Redemption, however, becomes impossible for most individuals who failed to hope and profess hope. Such individuals, even when released buck to freedom, are not able to hold their freedom. Brooks Hatlen, for instance, is unable to adjust back into society. After being imprisoned for fifty years, he loses the hope of reuniting with the community. He identifies better with the confines of the prison environment and cannot keep up with the free environment.
King, Stephen, and Frank Muller. Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Recorded Books, 1984.