Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption Essay

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According to a 2013 report, there are 41 suicides per 100,000 inmates each year in America. Many of these are caused by widespread depression. In his short novel, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, Stephen King writes about some of the reasons these deaths occur. One of the main reasons being that long-term prisoners lose the ability to hope for a normal life once they get out. King tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a man falsely imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, who, unlike many of the other inmates around him, somehow manages to keep hope alive. One of the central themes for this novel is that without hope the loss of freedom leads to suffering. One prisoner who loses his hope is an older man named Brooks Hatlen. Brooks served for a long time as the prison librarian but was finally let out of jail at the old age of sixty-two. In less than a year, Brooks died because he’d lost the will to live outside of the confining walls of the prison. King writes, “He was crying when he left [because] Shawshank was his world” (17). Brooks was an important person inside the prison, but outside, he was a nobody, and he’d lost the hope that one day he would eventually be free and able to…show more content…
Another long-term convict, Red is paroled after thirty years in jail. Like Brooks, he suffers with the realization that he cannot truly live on the outside anymore. He has been conditioned to the ways of prison, and after being rejected time and time again for parole, has given up hope of getting some kind of life back. However, unlike Brooks, Red is able to keep a little glimmer of hope alive. He keeps hope for his friend and another prisoner, Andy Dufresne, who escaped from jail. His hope that Andy could make it out, could start over, gives Red the courage to attempt his own rebirth. By the end of the novel, he goes on the run, breaking his parole, on his way to Mexico to hopefully meet up with

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