In The Shawshank Redemption, just prior to Fat Ass' murder by Captain Hadley, we see Heywood mouthing "Shut up, man" (at around 14 seconds into that clip). What is the significance of him saying this? Isn't what he fears will happen to Fat Ass his own fault for betting on him to crack, eliciting a reaction from him, and sending the gaol into a riot once he wins the wager? Does he feel that Fat Ass can mollify Hadley by shutting up?

Red says: "Somebody always breaks down crying. Happens every time. The only question is, who's it gonna be?" In this case, can it be interpreted that at least one person is always beaten to death on their first night in Shawshank State Prison?

1 Answer 1


Heywood is telling Fat Ass to shut up so he doesn't get his skull thumped by Hadley. Hadley has already let it be known that there will be thumping if there is no quiet.

While as Red says, someone invariably breaks down, the new fish likely either knows enough to shut up when the guards arrive, or if they don't -- the beating isn't fatal. The trusty in the infirmary said the doctor had gone for the night, so it sounds like Fat Ass likely would have survived had the doctor been on hand.

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