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Brooks Hatlen was the Shawshank Prison librarian.


Brooks had been in the prison since 1909, and was the only prisoner aside from Andy Dufresne who had a college degree. He worked in the library of the prison, taking care of the books. Brooks was first seen in the cafeteria when Andy found a maggot grub in his food. Brooks asked if he was going to eat it, and when a confused Andy said that he wasn't, Brooks asked if he could have it instead. Andy gave it to him, and saw it was fed to a crow he was keeping in his jacket, which he named Jake. Brooks explained that Jake fell out of his nest by the license plate shop and broke his wing, so he is taking care of him until he is well enough to fly again. Brooks delivered Andy's rock hammer to him so he could continue his geology escapades, and when Andy was transferred to the library, the two became fast friends. However, when Brooks was approved for parole because of good behavior, he held a knife to Heywood's throat, intending to kill him so he could stay in prison, as he has grown so accustomed to living on the inside, that he doesn't remember how the outside world works. However, Brooks cannot bring himself to do this and gets put into a halfway house. After being released from prison, Brooks has a very hard time readjusting to freedom most likely because he had a more important role in prision as an educated and knowledgeable librarian compared to being an old, slow grocery store bag boy. Brooks ends up writing a final letter to Andy and Red at the prison before committing suicide by hanging himself, carving BROOKS WAS HERE into the wall.

Brooks was played by James Whitmore in Shawshank Redemption.


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