Probably none of us tried to evaluate the movie from this angle. We all watched the movie with laughing and crying while our mouths were wide open. But today I'm going to share my thoughts on this topic with examining subtexts from the movie.
“The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his 'natural superiors,' and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, callous 'cash payment.' It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation." ― Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto
The factory of capitalist propaganda Holywood is really good at serving the truth in fictional way.
Shawshank Redemption is a truth but , it is the truth about capitalist empire itself.
Most of the movies are redisgned version of an old tale in to capitalism. As an instance cindirella lost her social status and her problem solved with feodal values like magic and divine will. Our white collar Andy is going to save himself with capitalist values. For me Shawshank Redemption is a story of greed , money ambition , corruption and an insane amount of
rational utilitarianism. Shawshank Redemption is a story of becoming evil and Ofcourse This story which contains lots of boogiemans is written by Stephan King.
What is Shawshank Redemption?
Shawshank Redemption is a nightmare for white collars. Losing your social privilage , torture , opression , violence , rape you can find all of these in there. You can see the brutal truth in Shawshank Prison. Social injustice , Inequality and also the movie shows us the huge difference between the rulers and the slaves completely naked. It is an allegory of the real capitalist world. In our world nobody acts according the orders of capitalist world but everybody knows really good which role to play. Warden symbolises most of the evil things yet he gives Bible's to people. The Ruling Class both steals and in order to maintain the order they use disproportional violence for joy , blue collars work.
When the capitalist clock working , everybody become ordinary and everything become routine. Therefore people continue their life like this prison is ethernal. The Prisoners of Shawshank can't imagine a life without it and they can't continue their life out of it. This fantasy becomes so inner with time that leaving Shawshank become the biggest nightmare for inmates.
As an instance Brook Was Here ,
If you deny the world you live in and follow the fantesies that capitalism offers your end is going to be like Brooks. If you are a slave , you need to know what slavery offers you.
Who is Andy ?
Andy is a young white collar and his ambition made him an assistant manager in some bank in such young age. As same as Cindirella he losts his social status. As I mentioned before Cindirella's crisis solved with feodal values like magic and divine will. Andy is going to save himself from this situation with core values of capitalism. Eventhough this tale is told by Red himself , there are definelty some evil sisters in Shawshank Redemption to torture Andy.
Andy got some usefull skills for the ruling class like banking tricks , financial scams . economical tactic and of course how to evade taxes.
Our Andy misses his old days and this snob starts to help the ruling class and he starts to get a more privileged position. The more evil he becomes in Shawshank he becomes more ontouchable. The director adds for watchers a clever twist for Andy's corruption process. Eventhough he is helping to the ruling people for corruption Andy bribes his blue collar friends. He gives Red a pie and free beer for everyone. Somehow the director manage to make people love this little snob.
Our Afro-American character Red is already aware of the injustice and inequality in this system. Eventhough the Slavery is not legal anymore the prejucide and discrimination towards black people never changed and all the things are the same in Shawshank Prison. Therefore Red decides to exploit the System vulnerabilities in order to survive in Shawshank Prison. What can we do eventually Holywood is Holywood. Our Afro-American people earn their money through illegal businesses. Eventhough Red tells Andy to accept his situation , he gives anecdotes about capitalist life style and slavery life style.
Prison Life Is a Routine And This Routine Continues
Eventually Red and Andy become close friends and this is not a normal friendship. Red is good at exploiting the systemm too but not as much as andy. Red uses the vulnerabilities of the system for his personal benefit. He smuggles illegal stuff in to the prison. Eventhough he is not fully corrupted he is smart enough to use system for his personal benefit. Therefore Andy sees his ambition about money and how corrupted he can become in the future and offered to help him when he is out from prison.
The only reason why Andy got some privilages is his skills to handle upper classes dirty work. The movie polishes core values like , corruption , stealing , ambition , greed and economical injustices through Andy's character. It encourages people to become rich no mather what. So eventually our Andy slowly become an egoist individualist citizen of neo-liberalism. He walks out as a clever conman from the prison which he walk in as an innocent person.
The Movie Summarizes What to do In Capitalism to the All Classes
If you are upper class you can steal but you need to find a clever way to hide it. You can use the middle class as you wish , because they are going to afraid to become lower class and they are going to help you , but don't trust them. If you are lower class you know your place but you can find your own way and create your own kingdom in lower class if you have clever mind like Red. If slavery is not for you and you are irritated you can save yourself by helping upper classes dirty jobs getting corrupted and being selfish. So You better get used to these walls. Even if you send hundreds of letters to politician they will only help you in small propotion because they are probably bored of your tears.
In movies story there is some bullshit story like tihs one Andy choosed to hope. Oh Really !! What a bullshit. If you are thinking Andy hoped in prison you need to rewatch the movie because Andy is not an irrational man to hope. He will never read bible blindly and wait for the God's Help. He is a guy who waited for years to achieve his plan and calculated his every move like a chess player he is our rational egoist guy. He is a conman who never stops untill he achieves his ambitions.
He knows the vulnerability of the system and he is aware of the greed of powerfull people and He knows that only way to get a priviliged status is to help upper class , scamming and being a powerslave. He is a cold blooded rational evil. For me he is one of the bad guys in the movie. You remember Warden he was hiding behind his religion and he was handing out bibles . Andy was not much different from that guy he used his Bible only to hide his hammer.
Andy is as much evil as Warden.
The message which movie gives is obvious for all the classes not only for middle class. There is no escape from the violence of corruption , injustice and inequality. The capitalism is ethernal and institutionalized this great ideaology created great oppurtunities for people. Greed and Ambition rules the world , you can't break it you can't fight against it. The only think you can do is to use this oppurtunities.
You need to serve well to the upper class , get corrupt and play game with the rules of greed and try to make yourself upper class. For your personal freedom you need to do anything.
Since we are not feodal anymore we don't need any divine or magical help like the Cindirella story. There are'nt any magic wands , the hammer is in your hands. The patch you seek for your salvation is and your reborn as upper class lies on corruption , greed and ambition.
Your Shawshank is Capitalism and Your Escape is Being Andy Your Redemption is being Unfair and Corrupted