Red, Andy Dufresne, Tommy Williams, and The Sisters are the main characters in The Shawshank Redemption. They were convicted of murder charges and sentenced to prison. Byron Hadley and Samuel Norton are prison guards that pretend to supervise inmates but instead engage in illegal activities (The Shawshank Redemption). This essay explores entrepreneurship skills that are evident in the three main characters in this story.
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Andy Dufresne invested his personality in interactions to maintain cordial relationships with prison guards and other inmates. His financial skills became relevant when he assisted Byron Hadley to evade paying taxes on the money inherited from his brother (The Shawshank Redemption). He used his physical strength to control prisoners, but Andy managed to win him by explaining that the inheritance (money) could be sent to his wife as a gift so that he could avoid paying taxes.
He used his financial skills to help a prison guard (Samuel Norton) to cover his illegal earnings from construction companies. He was an economic expert and believed that Norton’s future was determined by the underhand deals he conducted with companies that offered their services to the local community. However, this assistance became a barrier to his freedom because Norton’s future was determined by Andy’s assistance; therefore, he had to be in prison for as long as this guard continued with his illegal activities (The Shawshank Redemption). He used his skills to save money and earned good interest that enabled him to open a hotel in Mexico. He escaped from prison without anybody knowing or expecting that he was capable of harboring that plan.
Red played a fatherly figure to all prisoners and guards and ensured that his opinion was superior to that of other guards and prisoners. His sentence enabled him to meet Andy and he thought that their relationship was very important in giving him hope for the future. He controlled the smuggling business in the prison and earned money by doing various things at a fee. He was a risk-taker and ensured that his orders were followed by everybody that wanted to do business (illegal) with him. He smuggled a rock hammer and polishing cloth that Andy used to break the prison wall and escape (The Shawshank Redemption). Therefore, he thought that Andy owed his freedom to him and it was necessary to pay back for this favor.
He worked hard for several weeks to locate the stone wall in the hayfields that Andy had told him about when they were in prison many years ago. He left his bag boy job in a supermarket and broke parole regulations by escaping to Mexico to join Andy (The Shawshank Redemption). He was optimistic that one day life would be better despite his failing health and dark past. His strong-willed attitude drove him to do anything that would make his life better even if it involved breaking rules that would land him to prison.
Samuel Norton’s entrepreneurship skills are evident when he developed a program that involved repairing the local infrastructure (The Shawshank Redemption). This program helps inmates to smuggle goods into prison at a fee payable to Norton. In addition, the “Inside-Out” program he developed was aimed at threatening the existence of local construction companies to force them to follow his demands (The Shawshank Redemption). Therefore, they had to bribe him so that they would not be kicked out of business. He invested the future of his illegal earnings in Andy and that is why he refused to help him win a retrial. Most prisoners did not have options except to repair roads and buildings yet this was not an easy task. He hid his illegal activities under the cover of religion by pretending to be a devout Christian while oppressing others.
The Shawshank Redemption. Dir. Frank Darabont. Castle Rock Entertainment, 1994. Film.