Shawshank Redemption Red (Morgan Freeman) recounts how he planned and carried out his wife’s murder and accidentally killing a neighbor and child as well and earned him a life sentence at Shawshank Prison. Red also remembers the arrival of an inmate named Andy Dufresne, whose tenure at Shawshank affected the lives of everyone at the prison. Andy was sent to Shawshank for life for the cold-blooded murder of his wife and her lover, a pro tennis player. Despite the damning evidence placing him at the scene of the crime on the night of the murders, Andy has always maintained his innocence, which Red eventually comes to believe in as well. Andy has some initial difficulty adjusting to prison life, especially
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Andy also imagines Red going with him. Red thinks nothing of this until years later when the prison guards find Andy’s cell empty one morning. The guards search the prison but find nothing, until an extremely frustrated Norton throws a rock sculpture through the pinup poster on the wall which reveals a gigantic hole in the concrete. The hole leads to the sewage drainpipe, which empties into the marshes surrounding the prison. Red figures that Andy slowly and systematically used the rock hammer and polishing cloths every night for nearly twenty years to carve through the wall. After completing his hole, Red also figures that it took Andy roughly ten more years to gather the courage to actually try to escape. A search of the nearby towns reveals nothing and Norton has a nervous breakdown after his money laundering is reveled to the public and commits suicide. Red never hears anything from Andy but only a postcard from a border town in Texas some months later. The story of Andy’s escape spreads throughout the prison and gives him an even greater legendary status. He becomes the symbol of hope for many prisoners, not only as someone who successfully escaped, but also as a man who never let prison crush his spirit. Each of the inmates inside Shawshank Prison is locked up metaphorically as well as literally, hiding from himself or unable to function in the unregulated world that lay beyond the prison walls.