The film The Shawshank Redemption is already a classic. Based on a novel by Stephen King, it tells the friendship story between two inmates from the most disparate walks of life who are bonded by their dreams of freedom (indeed, in Argentina, the film was titled Sueños de libertad –Dreams of Freedom).
For what we are about to say, the plot (which the reader may find in the Internet) is not relevant. What concerns us here is this: at a given moment, one of the oldest convicts, the one in charge of the library –Brooks– becomes eligible to be released on parole. But Brooks does not want to leave. Having become accustomed to his 50-year prison life, prison is now his home, what he knows, what he is used to. Still, he has to leave.
The world outside, “freedom”, is completely and utterly odd for him. Not hostile, though. He is given a job at a supermarket, and housing –humble, but decent… Still, he is definitely out of his world. He cannot stand it. And he kills himself.
The character played by Morgan Freeman, Ellis (alias Red), clarifies what has happened. His thesis holds that Brooks was “institutionalized”. He was so deeply accustomed to the prison institution, that he could not conceive any other life. What we regard as freedom, he experiences as a prison, and vice versa. It is as simple as it is tragic. (more…)