Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption Essay

This essay has a total of 1032 words and 4 pages.

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption

The story of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption begins in 1948 when Andy Dufresne
arrives at Shawshank prison. In contrast to most other convicts, he's not a hardened
criminal but a soft-spoken banker, convicted of killing his wife and her lover. Like
everyone in Shawshank, he claims to be innocent. Like most newcomers, Andy gets in trouble
with the sisters. They are a gang of sodomites led by Bogs Diamond that gang up on anyone
they feel they can handle, and Andy is no exception. Not until much later does he escape
their attentions. Red, the narrator of the story, is known as the guy who can get stuff.
His ability to deliver contraband of almost any type into Shawshank makes him somewhat of
a celebrity among prisoners, and it's also the reason that Andy approaches him.

Andy's hobby outside the walls was rock-carving, and now he has immense amounts of free
time on his hands, so he asks Red to get him a rock hammer. He uses this to shape small
rocks he finds in the exercise yard into small sculptures. The next item he orders from
Red is a large poster of Rita Hayworth. When taking the order, Red reflects that Andy is
excited like a teenager just for ordering a pin-up poster, but doesn't think more of it
then. One spring day, Andy and Red and some other prisoners are tarring a roof when Andy
overhears a guard griping over the amount of tax he will have to pay on an inheritance he
has just gotten from a run-away brother. Andy approaches him (almost getting thrown off
the roof in the process) and tells him that there are legal ways to avoid taxation. He
offers to help him with all the necessary paperwork for the operation, in exchange for
some beer for himself and the other prisoners on the roof. This is the beginning of a long
stretch of economic work for Andy. More and more of the screws discover that they can use
him for tax returns, loan applications, and other things like that. In return for his
help, he gets protection from the sisters and is allowed to stay alone in his cell instead
of having a cellmate like most other prisoners. For a short period, he shares a cell with
an Indian called Normaden, but he soon leaves again. He keeps complaining about the
draught in the cell while there. When Brooksie, the previous prison librarian, is paroled,
Andy takes over the prison library and starts to send applications to the state senate for
money for books. For a long time, he gets no response to his weekly letters. Finally, he
gets some money. Instead of ceasing his letter writing (like the senate probably hoped),
he starts writing twice as often. His diligent work makes the library very good, and he
also helps a number of prisoners catch up on their studies, preparing them for life
outside.

The warden of Shawshank, Norton, also realizes that a man of Andy's skills is useful. He
has started a program called "Inside-Out" where convicts do work outside the prison for
very low wages. Normal companies outside can't compete with the cost of Inside-Out
workers, so sometimes they offer Norton bribes not to bid for contracts. This cash has to
be laundered somehow, and here Andy is useful. One day, Andy hears from another prisoner
about someone having bragged about killing a rich golfer and some hot-shot bankers wife,
and then getting the banker jailed for it. Hearing this, Andy of course sees the
possibility of a new trial since it proves that he is innocent. Norton scoffs at the
story, however, and as soon as possible he makes sure that the person who talked is moved
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