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What is King trying to tell us about Andy’s character? What does it say about his...

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branston | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 20, 2009 at 3:17 PM via web

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What is King trying to tell us about Andy’s character? What does it say about his overall attitude about prison, and about his sense of dignity?

 

Andy puts up with the pain of prison life alone, and always fights people who want to hurt him,what is King trying to tell us about Andy’s character? What does it say about his overall attitude about prison, and about his sense of dignity?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 20, 2009 at 9:07 PM (Answer #1)

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Through Andy, we see that it is essential to learn that one's emotional/ mental state does not have to take the form of the physical world in which one is placed.  Andy's acceptance of the horrors of prison life and the indpendent manner in which he addresses it indicates that while his body is in prison, his mind is not to be enslaved.  It is this dignity of character in which King makes his statement that while there are conditions in the world that are beyond our control, human beings do not have to take the form of this world. Andy's character is one where he understands the unfairness and injustice of the situation, and never loses the ability to grasp that his dignity and independence of thought and action is what will enable him to effectively navigate such a condition.  It is in this notion of dignity where the duality between mind and body is best exemplified.  Without it, Andy would take the form of the world around him, and would be in a truer sense of the word, "prison."  Rather, we can possess a demeanor, like the coat which Andy seems to be wearing, that allows us to withstand and endure the challenges of our physical conditions and, eventually, triumph over them.

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