Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption

by: Stephen King

Samuel Norton

Warden Norton embodies the hypocrisies and contradictions of the penitentiary system. The national exposure and adulation he gets for his “Inside-Out” program belies and conceals the corruption that prevails during his tenure and the campaign of threats, intimidation, abuse, and excessive cruelty he employs to maintain control of the inmates. At times aligned with images of death—his face is compared to a cold slate tombstone—Norton is a self-deluded despot who justifies his exploitation and the promotion of his self-interest at the expense of others in the name of his faith and the fire-and-brimstone Bible passages he often quotes.