Contemporary Film & Literature
Ms. Carla Kurt
The Shawshank Redemption – directed by Frank Darabont
Directions: Answer the following questions using your film logs and direct observation. You must have specific supporting details from the movie to illustrate your responses, following the specific guidelines under each question. Please number the supporting examples to ensure they will be counted.
______/40 Purpose/Organization: All questions are answered according to the specific directions given. Each topic is fully addressed. Responses start with thematic topic sentences (underlined) and contain clear supporting examples. Responses are organized to logically develop the main point, using artful transitions between ideas.
_______/40 Content/ Development: Main ideas are thoroughly developed using the designated number of specific examples. Quotes/ examples are smoothly blended, relevant and meaningful, developed to show their relationship to the main points/ topic sentences. Content demonstrates insightful comprehension, reflective thinking, and perceptive analysis of the film.
Clear and concise. No more than three errors in grammar,
usage, spelling. After three
errors, 5 points will be deducted for each error, for a maximum deduction of 20
*Provide at least two specific supporting examples for each of the following questions.
The Shawshank Redemption, what is the difference between the hero/protagonist and
the narrator? How is the use of Red as a narrator effective?
is considered a reflection character, one who mirrors or supports the hero’s
motivation. In what ways does Red
mirror and/or support Andy’s motivation?
a successful film, it is important that the viewer identify with the hero. That is, the viewer must put himself or
herself in the shoes of the hero emotionally; he or she must experience emotion
the character. This does not mean
that the hero is without flaws, shortcoming, or negative qualities; often quite
the opposite is true. It only
means that there is sufficient sympathy and empathy from the audience through
* In responding to the following questions, provide at least one specific supporting example for each response.
• How do these principles apply to Andy?
• What are his negative qualities?
• What are his positive qualities?
does he eventually redeem himself?
must be a clear, specific, visible motivation or objective which the hero hopes
to achieve by the end of the story.
It is important to create something within the plot the hero wants. That objective, in fact, is what the
movie is all about, and it is the cornerstone of the whole story. Motivation exists on outer and inner
* In responding to the following questions, provide at least two specific supporting examples for each response.
Š Inner motivation is the answer to the question – Why does the character want to achieve his or her outer motivation? And the answer to this question is always related to gaining greater feelings of self-worth. Inner motivation is a particular form of the character’s desire to feel better about himself or herself. Since this level of motivation comes from within, it is usually invisible and revealed through dialogue. It is more closely tied to theme and character growth than a plot. What do you think Andy’s inner motivation is?
hero must face serious challenges, hurdles, and obstacles in pursuing his
motivation. Something has to stand in the way
of reaching the objective or there is no conflict and no movie. These serious obstacles must be
challenges that are serious to the hero.
What are the major obstacles Andy faces in achieving his
motivation/goal? (2 examples)
5. In facing these challenges, hurdles, and obstacles in pursuit of his motivation, there is a need for the hero to exhibit courage. This can be either physical courage or emotional courage or both. If nothing is at stake for the hero or the hero does not regard the challenges as frightening on some level, the story will not work and the audience will not be emotionally involved. In what ways does Andy show courage throughout the movie? (2 examples)
what ways does the film use the following elements (look in your packets for
exact definitions and sub-elements if you aren’t sure what these mean) to
enhance both story and character.
*You should have at least one supporting example for each element.
Š Mis-en-scene (category heading)
7. Write a substantial paragraph (minimum 300 words) in which you show how the three-act structure is used effectively in The Shawshank Redemption to help make the movie’s main point(s). In addition to identifying what point(s) the movie develops, you should also focus on character development and motivation within the traditional three-act arc and specific plot techniques such as foreshadowing and suspense. Use at least three specific examples from the film to make your points.