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Prison Escapee

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To say that I am like Andy Dufresne, wife-killing banker and mastermind behind a money laundering scandal, would be the shortest way to sum me up in a nutshell.

Scrutinizing of this statement would reveal that it is indeed true: Shawshank Prison is equivalent to all the hardships I face in life, Captain Hadley has been reincarnated into all the people who exacerbate my difficulties, and I see Warden Samuel Norton in every person who enables my suffering to occur and continue. Most importantly, my rock hammer, my salvation that lay within, is the knowledge that these times of trouble will come to pass. It chips away the walls that confine me to my misfortune, little by little, until eventually, I am free of it.

I am not an ignorant f***, as Andy once called Boggs, as I know that life isn’t a stroll in the park. Bad luck floats around and “it’s got to land on somebody.” When it lands on me, I proudly wield my rock hammer and handle the storm with finesse.

Sometimes, though, the storm lasts awhile and the walls confining me seem to be a mile-thick – too thick for a six inch rock hammer. Sometimes, it’s as if bad luck ran out of people to land on, so it makes up for it by throwing every misfortune possible at me; the tantamount of the Sisters regularly beating up Dufresne at Shawshank, or Warden Norton throwing him into solitary for two consecutive months.

Despite the jaw-dropping amount of bad luck, the greatest part of being like Andy Dufresne is that I share his unrelenting determination. Andy wanted a prison library, so he committed to writing two letters a week to the state for funds and succeeded. Similarly, I once wanted a pet fish, and committed to pestering my parents about it until I succeeded in acquiring one (though it died shortly afterwards because the water was too cold). Furthermore, Dufresne decided that nineteen years at Shawshank was long enough, and escaped the same night he came to that epiphany. In the same manner, I decided that I would score a 4 on the AP English Literature and Composition test, and did just that. By spending countless hours reading and writing about classic literature, whetting my analyzing skills, I strolled out the testing room (if you consider a gym to be a room) feeling accomplished and free as a prison escapee.

Being like Andy is my constant. It’s helped me transcend life’s challenges and gain wisdom in preparation for problems brewing in my future. His motto is my motto: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Evidently, the latter of the two choices does not appeal to me. I dare not spend time evading my problems to become institutionalized like my fellow con mates; ergo I get busy living by solving them. Like Andy, I keep hope alive, even when the situation seems hopeless, and ceaselessly chip away at the problem until a solution has been tunneled out for me. People will wonder how I get through life, with all its Shawshank Prisons and various Captain Hadleys, and theorize that I have some miraculous secret to success.

The only secret I have, however, is my determination to overcome, and a six inch rock hammer.



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