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ENGL 110- Week 10 Reflection

Aug 16, 2023

1. The movie talks about the concept of an inmate becoming “institutionalized.” How was this idea used in the movie? Do you think that this happens in real life?

2. Andy does all he can to improve the lives of the other prisoners. He helps them to get a library and books, and he helps some of them to earn their high school diplomas. Do you believe that funding programs like this in prisons are a good idea, or would it simply be a waste of time and resources?

3. Do you believe that Red’s final interview with the parole committee would have resulted in such positive results if this were real life? Students are often very split in their opinions on this. Explain your position.

Week 10 Reflection

1. In the movie Shawshank Redemption, the creators define the concept of ‘institutionalized’ through Red and Brooks. Institutionalized refers to a person who has become dependent on the institution for his or her survival. This term comes into light due to Brooks and his struggle with getting granted parole. After hearing the news of being paroled, Brooks begins attacking another prisoner, so that he is allowed to stay in the institution. Brooks after so many years inside the walls has understood that he is incapable of functioning without these walls. He is dependent on them and cannot cope with the outside world. Ultimately being institutionalized leads to his tragic end.

In the movie, prolonged imprisonment is shown to have devastating effects on the prisoners, one of them being institutionalized. These prisoners have carved their own identity inside the prison, and feel that they would be nothing outside. Similar to Brooks Red also faces the impact of being institutionalized when he gets out. He is unable to function without being instructed and feels that he is not in sync with everyone else. It is not until he garners a familiarity from the institution, in the form of Andy, in the outside world, that he is finally able to feel happy outside.  

2. Andy’s efforts of Rehabilitation have positive outcomes in the movie and would have so in real life. Funds should be allocated to rehabilitate prisoners and improve their quality of life. There should be skill-based training and education which should be imparted to them. As seen in the movie Tommy does petty stealing and thievery to run his house, simply because he has no other option. Therefore he seeks to study from Andy. There are many prisoners like Tommy who will go back to their life of crime, simply because they have no other way to provide for themselves and their families. This cycle can be brought to an end if they are provided training in a skill that could be economically fruitful and severs them from their need to commit crimes. Also for people who have committed grievous crimes like Red, this is a great path. The Inquisition is whether they are worth it. As Red proves they are worth it. As long as a human is on the earth there is always a chance of improvement. Therefore these people should also be provided the opportunity to better themselves through the grace of education.

3. Though Red’s final interview is extremely interesting, Morgan Freeman’s acting elevates the intensity of the entire scene. This interview in real-life would not have produced the intended result. Though the sentiments are appropriate. In comparison to his previous interviews, Red can relate his guilt for murdering in a much better manner. The problem is in his body language. With how our law system is laid out, it is impossible that it would react positively to this assertiveness in Red’s tone. The methodology in which Red operated in this scene was authoritative and even though he professed his guilt and disappointment, he did not show it properly in his body language. In the scene, he also includes the sentiment of not wasting his time. Parole authorities would not react well to such a sentiment in real life. In my opinion Red by that time had become so institutionalized that he didn’t want to be paroled and acted in such a way, and gaining it was a pleasant surprise. Though in real life such an outcome wouldn’t have happened.

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