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Word Count: 663
As a theme in film or literature freedom is often shown through the experiences of a character who has been unjustly enslaved Contrasting the basic human right to freedom with an unfair imprisonment makes a clear distinction between right and wrong justice and injustice and humanity and inhumanity In their different version of Shawshank Redemption author Stephen King and director Frank Darabont clearly make these distinictions using a bird a library and a poster as symbols of freedom and justice In both film and book these symbols represent the protagonists human spirit longing for community and ultimate rebirth The first important symbol is a bird named Jake the pet of an inmate at Shawshank prison Jake represents the struggle of the human spirit of Andy Dufresne a man who has been wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison As a bird Jake can be seen as a universal symbol of freedom Putting him in an unnatural cage of the prison serves as a mirror for Andys own captured spirit Andy is compared to a bird who is not meant to be caged because his feathers are too bright and his song too sweet and wild King 100 In the book Jakes death shows us the dangers of putting something that is inherently free in a prison of any kind The film however has Jake flying out of a window to freedom and so gives a more optimistic view of Andys human spirit It foreshadows his escape from Shawshank and his ultimate victory over the society that robbed him of his basic right to exist without unfair restrictions While the bird represents Andys desire for freedom outside of Shawshank the prison library shows us how he creates a kind of personal freedom while he is still a prisoner The library is a social and intellectual gathering center within the prison walls and a sign of Andys longing for a real community
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