Shawshank Redemption is about two men, Andy and Red, who are both imprisoned at Shawshank prison and end up bonding and finding redemption together through random acts of kindness. It begins in 1947, with a man named Andy Dufresne being convicted of murdering his wife and her lover. Even though Andy was innocent, he was given two life sentences and was to serve them at Shawshank prison.
The first night Andy and other new inmates first arrived at the prison, one inmate was being hysterical and refused to not stop talking, this led to one of the guards (Hadley) to viciously beat him to a pulp (he would die later that night). From the Hadley’s point of view, it seems as though they are making sure the inmates know their place and they know the amount of personal power they have over them. For the new inmates, they most likely viewed the situation as a wakeup call, they are no longer in control of their life, whatever the guards say, goes. The inmates that have resided at Shawshank for a while now, seemed as though they observed the situation as a tragedy. Once the guards started to come for the inmate that got beat, the other inmates were trying to help him, by telling him to “shut up” and “quiet”. I don’t think any of the inmates wanted this man to die. A neutral observer would have seen an abuse of power from the guards and a large amount of scared inmates. This scene affected me by making me feel uncomfortable; although I can’t stop it, I realized what happened to that inmate can easily happen to anyone in prison and it’s the guards word over the inmates. Within the prison system there is most likely a great amount abuse of power, between almost everyone in there and it upsets me to think about it.
To get an insight into why Andy stole all of the Warden’s money and sent his account books to the newspaper, reinforcement theory is used. Andy has worked hard for Shawshank prison and basically everyone inside of it, so when he escaped prison he felt he was owed some sort of reward for his behaviour. The reward in this situation is monetary, as well as personal; Andy received $370,000 and he also got revenge on Hadley and the Warden for the negative behaviours they had bestowed toward him. In this case the roles were reversed and both the boss and the manager were punished for their undesired behaviours. The Warden could not accept his punishment and decided to quit life all together.
Osland, J., Kolb, D., Rubin, I., & Turner, M (2007). Organizational behavior: An experiential approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.