Institutionalization In Shawshank Redemption

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In the visual text Shawshank Redemption director, Frank Darabont, uncovers the impact of institutionalization on prisoners showing that in prisons inmates lose all self-reliance and fall into a monotonous routine forgetting the independence needed to survive in the outside world. There is an emphasis on this idea in the scene of Brooks’ demise. Darabont focuses on the techniques; lighting of Brooks’ face in the library, the slow dolly to his face in the bus, as well as acting, dialogue and a low angle shot to show the idea of institutionalization. Together they all show the impact institutionalization had on Brooks’. Brooks’ demise scene opens with a mid tracking shot of Brooks in the library being lit by light coming through the window freeing his pet crow, Jake. After releasing Jake, Brooks pulls his head into the shadows. The director’s use of Brooks’ …show more content…

When the inmates first arrive at Shawshank prison and the audience sees a low angle of Shawshank presenting it as a daunting, life sucking, all-consuming place. Similarly, Darabont uses a low angle to show the halfway house feels the same to Brooks as Shawshank felt to the inmates when they first arrived. Any ordinary would most likely see the interesting, intricate architecture of the building but instead of showing that part of the building Darabont chooses to show the audience the daunting, dominating nature it presents to Brooks. Freedom should be something that a newly released prisoner is ecstatic about but in Brooks’ case he is terrified even to have his own room, why is this? It is because of the key idea, institutionalization, that Darabont has been hinting at all through the film and especially in this scene. Brooks’ has completely forgotten what it’s like to do anything for himself so as soon as he is given his own room he terrified about not knowing what to do and when to even do

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