An Interpretation of Influences of Institutionalization on the Fate of Characters in “The Shawshank Redemption”

  •  Yuan-yuan Peng    


Institutionalization is mentioned over and over again in film “The Shawshank Redemption”. In this film, the institution refers to the fixed prison institution, and institutionalization refers to a process of rigidifying prisoners’ behaviors, thoughts and mindsets in some imperceptible constraint mechanisms. In this process, the prisoners are forced to change their original behaviors, thoughts and ideas, and begin to accept, get used to and even depend on the current situation little by little. As a result, they become obedient to such prison management. They don’t want or dare to change their realistic conditions, but have to depend on them for survival. The death of Brooks, pigeon Jake and Tommy, the fear of Red and the escape of Andy are all associated with institutionalization. In this paper, influences of institutionalization on the fate of characters in “The Shawshank Redemption” were analyzed. In addition, the wisdom of coping with and avoiding institutionalization was preliminarily analyzed.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.