Study Guide

The Shawshank Redemption Lies and Deceit

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Lies and Deceit

Often it's only the bad guys who get to partake of the whole "lies and deceit" business, but in this instance our hero has a secret or two up his own sleeve. Or carved into his Bible, or whatever.

What that means is that we get to see deceit being used for both good and evil purposes. There's the warden, pulling every kind of financial no-no you could think of (not to mention that his chat with Tommy isn't all that honest), but then there's Andy, who has a secret plan twenty years in the making to right a wrong that was committed a long, long time ago.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. At one point, Andy says, "On the outside, I was an honest man. Straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook." Has he really become a crook, or should his actions be justified by his innocence?
  2. If Red is such a good friend, why doesn't Andy let him in on what he's up to?
  3. Being deceitful seems to come awfully easy to Andy. Could it have been his knack for lying that doomed his marriage way back when?
  4. Is it possible to make it through decades in prison without being deceitful? Is this a case of "honest" guys finishing last?

Chew on This

Andy's ability to keep his escape plan secret was just an extension of his personality. He never expressed his inner feelings.

The warden nearly looked inside Andy's Bible and would have discovered the rock hammer. The fact that he didn't was a sure sign that God was intervening on Andy's behalf.

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