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|Andy Dufrane was a simple man; a banker,
a husband, and a man of spirits and hopes. Wrongly
covicted of killing his own wife he is sentenced to a
long term of imprisonment in Shawshank prison. When he
first arrives on day one at the prison, the inmates are
betting on who will crack first among the "fresh
meat" to arrive at the prison. Someone always
cracks; and a man that could get you anything in prison
named Red gambled that Andy would break down first. Andy
did not crack that day though, in fact he didn't even
mutter a peep. Instead another new inmate "fat
ass" as he is euphemestically called cracks and
weeps like a baby. The guards shut him up with force, and
he never does cry or moan anymore after that.
In a place like Shawshank, hope is a dangerous thing for many. But to Andy hope never dies as even in prison no place could ever get the best of him. With a really small hammer used by rock collectors, he inches his way to freedom night by night over a period of decades. He disguises the hole he is making in the wall with a big poster of Rita Hayworth. Every day he disperses the pieces of the wall he chipped away on the gound outside. He hides his hammer in a bible; a bible that even the prison's warden holds and reads from on one occasion. Even the poster that conceals his escape route is commented on by the warden.
In time he becomes a valuable asset to the warden as he launders money from all his illegal activies. Andy's skills are such that the prison baseball season is aligned with tax season so that Andy can do the taxes of guards from around the state. In the end after many years of work and sweat Andy crawls his way to freedom through a sewage pipe. He uses his knowledge of the banking industry and the tax system to recreate his identity. He claims all the money that he laundered for the warden in various accounts, frames the warden for his misdeeds, and heads overseas. The warden kills himself rather than face prison, and the guards that tortured him in prison are arrested. Andy is a free spirit, as free as a bird and even prison could not keep him caged for long.
At the end of the film Red, one of Andy's friends from prison is released on parole. A note is left for Red which leads him to Andy's location and his boat. The Shawshank Redemption illustrates the unbendable human spirit. Even a wrongful imprisonment, a corrupt warden and enemies within Shawshank can not get the best of Andy Dufrane or any man as long as hope never dies.
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