The Shawshank Redemption: Ellis Boyd Character

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

 In the film The Shawshank Redemption by Frank Barabont, the protagonist Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding attempts to determine his destiny by saying he’s never gonna get out of Shawshank and has accepted that as the truth. Later on he realizes that there’s more than one truth, yes he is guilty of committing a crime but by also believing in hope he learns that he can still get out of prison even though he is guilty. 

Andy Dufresne changed his life for the better and had he never been wrongfully convicted of the murders of his wife and her lover he would of never met Red and life in prison would’ve been so different for many prisoners. The honesty in which one believes, has a direct impact on one’s destiny because by believing in something strongly enough it become ones truth over time.

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

Red came to Shawshank as a guilty man and because of this he didn’t believe in the hope of getting out, he was so set on living out the rest of his life in prison he didn’t allow himself to get caught up on hope. Right before Andy arrives at Shawshank, is when Red is finally eligible for parole but when asked if though he feels rehabilitated he lies and says yes, but because he himself didn’t believe in the chance of his parole succeeding his truth became a reality and he was therefore rejected. 

When returning to the yard he discusses his parole meeting with Skeet Jiggers and Ernie and they joke about it and say “I’m up for rejection next week.” they all laugh about it because that was their reality, but by referring to it as rejection instead of parole they had no actual hope of ever leaving the prison. Had Red maybe believed in the possibility of his parole he might of been released that very day and him and Andy may of never met. If he hadn’t decided that he was never getting out his destiny wouldve been different and would have ended back up in prison or dead within a month. 

When he met Andy, it didn’t give him too much hope inside the prison but it’s what helped him survive outside of the prison. When he was released he wanted to break his parole just to return to what he knew for so long but instead he decided to fulfill his promise to Andy and find his letter he buried under the stonewall in Buxton, Maine.

Over the course of the movie there is an obvious change in Red’s character after Andy enters shawshank. The first night the new prisoners enter the prison, bets are placed on which one’s gonna break first, for Red he believes it would be Andy but to his surprise that night Andy didn’t make a sound. This is the first moment Red realizes that he was wrong about Andy and potentially about other things he has yet to acknowledge. 

About a month later Andy confronts Red asking if he’s the one that can get things and asks for a rock hammer after a few questions he agrees. At first Red believes Andy was planning on using it to escape but after seeing just how small the hammer is he laughs saying it’ll take him years to escape with the tiny hammer. After about 19 years of being in prison Andy escapes using the tunnel he spent 17 years digging and Red’s perspective changes completely he realizes that hope is an amazing thing to have in prison. 

Andy had hope and now he’s on his way to Zihuatanejo to live out the rest of his life where he always dreamed of going. At Red’s next parole hearing he is released from prison and eventually breaks his parole and leaves the halfway house to fulfill his promise to Andy. The first time Red truly had hope he was finally released because hope and freedom became his goal and eventually became his reality because the truth was, getting out of prison was possible and once he saw that and believed in it he changed his destiny from spending the rest of his life in prison to being a free man.

When Red was in Shawshank prison he seemed to be the only guilty person in the prison. Red’s honesty helped determine his destiny because for him admitting what he had done was the first step of being free. He felt guilt and remorse over the death of his wife, his neighbor and her child. When planning to murder his wife he had no intention of their being other people in the car when he cut the brakes. He was found soon after and was sentenced to three life sentences at Shawshank prison. 

For Red, there was no hope of getting out he believed that because he was truly guilty he was never leaving. He believed that the rest of his life was gonna be spent in prison and for a while that was his reality, it wasn’t until Andy came that things changed for him. He told Andy how he used to play the harmonica but it “didn’t make much sense in jail” and Andy later gifts him a harmonica because prison is the best place to play the harmonica. Red was always a pessimist when it came to hope but Andy slowly changed him over the years. 

A year after Andy escaped, Red was eligible for parole once again only this time instead of telling the parole board what they wanted to hear, he told them that he feels that rehabilitation never existed. If you were in prison long enough to be rehabilitated by that time you were already institutionalized and were more likely to break your parole in order to return. After telling the board he didn’t care if he was released because for him it was a waste of time he is finally released on parole after 40 years of being in Shawshank prison. By allowing himself to stop believing that hope didn’t exist his destiny changed and he eventually got himself out of prison.

In conclusion, before Andy, Reds only purpose in life was to spend the rest of his life in prison and pay for the crimes he commited. After the arrival of Andy whom he later befriends does he slowly start to believe in the possibility of his release and freedom. Even though he was released from Shawshank he still felt imprisoned and wanted to go back to Shawshank But instead of breaking his parole to end up back in prison he breaks his parole in order to leave everything behind him and fulfill his promise to Andy. It wasn’t until Red was honest with himself that he truly became determined to be free from the prison that was his home for 40 years. 

Get quality help now

Prof Essil

Verified writer

Proficient in: Movies, Lifestyle & Interests

4.8 (1570 reviews)
“Really responsive and extremely fast delivery! I have already hired her twice!”

+75 relevant experts are online

More Essay Samples on Topic

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.