Study Guide

The Shawshank Redemption Perseverance

Perseverance

Let's be honest. What are the chances that, in Andy's shoes, you would have had the patience and fortitude to do everything he was prepared to do in order to earn his freedom? Heck, you gave up on Candy Crush after only three levels.

Perseverance is a huge theme through the film, and not just on Andy's part. Red undergoes his own struggle as he is rejected time and again from being labeled as "rehabilitated," and it's only after decades of…let's call it "character-building"…that he finally strings together the right words and impresses the panel with his…let's call it "inner growth."

Questions About Perseverance

  1. Do you think Andy ever had doubts that he'd be able to complete his tunneling task, or was he 100% confident from beginning to end?
  2. When Andy was regularly being beaten—and worse—by Bogs and his boys, how did he mentally and emotionally persevere?
  3. Norton took his own life rather than be subjected to the horrors of prison. What does that say about the warden's faith in his own perseverance?
  4. Brooks was able to persevere inside Shawshank, but outside the prison? Not so much. What was it about Brooks that made that transition so difficult?

Chew on This

If Andy had gone another ten years or so without reaching the end of his tunnel, he eventually would have given up and resigned himself to his fate.

No one showed greater perseverance than Tommy, who hung in there despite all his insecurities and passed his high school equivalency exam. (Sob!)