Frank Darabont has often compared The Shawshank Redemption to a Rorschach test. Written and executed with exceptional skill, it possesses a power that allows viewers to effortlessly empathize with its characters. It is, perhaps, the metaphor of imprisonment that resonates within us the hardest. We all have things that hold us captive, whether physical, psychological, social, or economical. Shawshank is about hope. If Andy can escape and come out the other side free, so can we. Get busy living or get busy dying. That’s goddamn right.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that writing can be one of the most self-tormenting occupations one can choose, and for the simplest of reasons: If one cares about the work, if aiming high and stretching is a personal goal, then writing becomes a constant exercise in seeking the limitations of one’s own abilities. That’s a good thing, certainly, but the perverse downside of seeking one’s limits is that one usually finds them, which is akin to running headlong and un-helmeted into a brick wall on a daily basis. The good news is, every time you smack into it, that wall gets pushed a little further back—inches at a time, mind you, but it does move. 1
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