I've noticed that...

…every fictional prison governer has an office pet - fish, a bird, whatever.

IT’S A METAPHOR, EH?

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‘The canary looks trapped to you, doesn’t he, Rock McSmash? You see everything through a prisoner’s eyes. I know that if he were left to fend for himself he would be dead within days. You and your boys are my canaries, McSmash. You can’t survive out there.’

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a trope that was interestingly subverted in the shawshank redemption where in fact it was one of the prisoners who had the pet bird. maes you think, doesn’t t.

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‘ Y’know, Rock McSmash, we’ve got this terrapin in here with us, just doing our days, and we’re all in our cages. But the terrapin is happy, he’s got his leaves, his little lamp. He doesnt try to get out, so he’s alright. Maybe we need to be more like the terrapin, McSmash. Maybe this could be our freedom.’

Also Lassard and his goldfish but he’s just in charge of a police academy (from the film Police Academy).

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