The aspect of the film that struck the writer the most emotionally and logically was when Andy discovered that Tommy had met and spoken with the man who committed the murder he was currently serving time for (Darabont). At this point in the film, Andy had built himself a tolerable existence within the walls of Shawshank Prison, made friends, and was helping Warden Norton to embezzle funds from state work contracts. Even with all of these elements in place, Andy’s discovery and eventual rebellion against the system in Shawshank were symbolic of the hope he carried inside of him that was coming to a possible fruition (Jimenez, 69).

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Andy’s Bible symbolized the freedom that he would eventually obtain, although it was not clear until the end exactly what role it played in Andy seeking and eventually obtaining his freedom (Jimenez, 70). It was the best cover for him to keep his rock hammer hidden so he could dig the tunnel behind his poster. Another symbol of freedom in the film is the cross stitch picture that hid the Warden’s safe and his books showing all of the embezzlement occurring at Shawshank. Andy knew that those books, given to the right people, would also ensure that Norton, Hadley and other prison guards would be in the same predicament they had taken advantage of for so long (Darabont).

The first conversation Andy has with Red about getting the rock hammer is a significant conversation because it does establish an understanding between the two men (Darabont). Second, the conversation between Andy and Hadley to establish a relationship to curry favorable treatment is a great tool to analyze the way Andy began to cement his place in prison society (Jimenez, 70). Lastly, the letter Red received from Andy giving him instructions on how to find him if he is ever released from Shawshank demonstrates the value of friendship between the two men.

  • Darabont, Frank. “Movie The Shawshank Redemption.” Castle Rock Entertainment (1994).
  • Jimenez, Mary Ann. “FILM REVIEW: The Shawshank Redemption.” Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping (Click on Current or Archives; Registration Optional) 1.1 (2014): 69-70.