Essay on “Different Seasons” by Stephen King and the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”

At first, the readers and the viewers get acquainted with Andy and Red and find out the reasons for their captivity, plunging into the past. The acquaintance of Andy and Red begins the day when Dufresne asks “the man who can get it” a poster of Rita Hayworth, whose name became a part of the book’s title “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”. In due course, the main hero asks Red for a rock-hammer, as he has a hobby of carving different shapes from rocks. The bitter irony of King can be seen in the fact that the orders of the prisoners were delivered to them in books. The thing that should be a source of knowledge becomes a method of illegal trade. The readers can see how low the moral of the prisoners is. It can be also proved by the fact that the rock-hammer is transported in the Holy Bible. However, it can be viewed as some sort of assistance from God.

Speaking about the time category, it is important to note that much time passes when both the readers and the viewers find out about the innocence of the main hero, who is supposed to have killed his wife and her lover. It becomes clear from an accident that happens in prison of Rhode Island. Here there is no flashback into the past. It is just a narration about how the main hero has found out who was the true killer of his wife and her lover. After he realizes the truth, he tries to prove his innocence, but has no luck in his attempts. These events prove that the author does not go astray from the plot line and follows the time together with the prisoners, which arises compassion to them in the hearts of readers.

The narration goes in accordance with time perception of prisoners. The readers can feel the infinity of time for the accused and the way they overcome it. The main hero has his own hopes and dreams about the time when he goes out of prison and becomes a free man. However, this would never come, unless he attempted an escape. Apart from the fact that the book’s and the movie’s time flows along with the prisoners life, depicting their hardships and troubles, in the end time goes back, revealing the way the main hero has escaped from the Shawshank prison. Such time effect attracts the attention of both viewers and readers, and makes them captivated till the very end. Besides, in his book King doesn’t use his favorite method ”“ the flow of conscience. He offers readers to guess the thoughts of the main hero themselves. And due to the peculiarities of the plot line, most readers guess the intentions of Andy only in the end, when they are truly revealed by the author.

The monotonous flow of life in Shawshank is masterfully shown by the author with the help of a specific combination of repeats. It is realized by the readers from the first pages of the book. As for the movie, the effect is somewhat different. Unlike the narrative style of the book, the movie doesn’t start with the life story of Red. It begins with the trial of the main hero, while in the book readers get acquainted with Red first, and only after some time they meet the main hero, Andy Dufresne. This is a difference in the categories of “time” in King’s book and its screen version.

Another peculiarity of King’s narration is the use of real facts. As time goes by, the prisoners experience almost no changes in their lives, while outside Shawshank, life goes by very fast. Presidents are changing, and a legendary band “The Beatles” starts its career. The fact that King constantly gives details about the Presidents ruling in the time of narration, draws an invisible line between past, present and future, and shows that the time for prisoners of Shawshank is measured by the Presidents that change one by one (Spignesi, 265). There seem to be no other way for prisoners to measure time accept memorizing the Presidents, and remembering who ruled the country at the time when some event took place.

Red and Andy talk about the possibility to go out of prison. Red offers different variants and talks about the imperfection of bureaucratic and banking system. King uses recurrence of events in order to achieve supreme expressiveness. All the contradictory facts of the narrator’s life go in a way they took place, one after another. And these facts are narrated so calmly that readers see Red as an experienced old man, who has already lived a long life and decided to make some conclusions in relation to the worst sides of that life.

The end of the book and the movie is unexpected due to the special plot line. Readers of the book can only guess how it will end, due to the fact that the time of the narration goes in a lineal manner, without almost any flashbacks. It makes the book thrilling and the movie captivating. In conclusion, “Different Seasons” and “The Shawshank Redemption” are the works about time, patience and loyalty. The strict chronology is not typical for King’s books, but it takes place in “Different Seasons” and becomes an important feature of analyzing the category of “time” in the above stated book. This is also peculiar to the screen version of the book, although the narration in the movie differs in some ways, which were analyzed above.

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