The Shawshank Redemption is a book from the movie. Shawshank is a prison. The story revolves around a banker named Andy Dufresne living in Portland.
He is convicted of murdering his wife and the wife’s lover. Therefore he is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences at Shawshank State Prison.
Andy made friends with a smuggler named Ellis Redding (Red), an inmate serving a life sentence. Red brings Andy a rock hammer and later a large poster of Rita Hayworth. It’s a story about Shawshank Redemption meaning Shawshank’s Saving.
Working in the prison laundry,
Andy is regularly assaulted by a prisoner named Bogs and few of his friends. He consistently tolerates the torture. After two years, Andy overhears the captain of the guards, Byron, complaining about being taxed on an inheritance, and offers to help him legally shelter the money.
Warden Samuel Norton meets Andy and reassigns him to the prison library to assist an elderly inmate Brooks Hatlen.
Andy also starts working on managing financial matters for the prison employees. As the time passes, warden begins using Andy to handle matters for various people.
In 1954, Brooks (the old librarian) paroles from the prison but cannot adjust to the outside world after 50 years in prison and commits suicide. To this Red says
These walls are funny, at first you hate them, then you get used to them. You are nothing outside the world. That’s institutionalized.
Andy and Red in a topic of conversation, Andy explains that Hope is what gets him through his time, a concept that Red dismisses.
In 1963, Norton begins exploiting prison labor for public works, profiting by undercutting skilled labor costs and receiving bribes. He uses Andy to launder the money using the alias Randall Stephens.
Andy teaches a guy named Tommy and he passes GED exams. Tommy reveals Red and Andy that an inmate at another prison claimed responsibility for the murders for which Andy was convicted.
He informs the warden about this but warden refuses to listen to him and puts him in an even smaller solitary confinement when Andy mentions of the money laundering.
Norton, the warden murders Tommy by tricking him in the charge of escaping the prison. He murders the innocent Tommy because he did not want Andy to be released from Shawshank.
If he is found innocent then all the help he was getting from him will be a fail. Norton was a selfish, cruel and treacherous person. Andy releases from the solitary confinement after 2 months, and tells Red of his dream of living in Zihuantanejo, a Mexican coastal town.
Red feels him being unrealistic, but promises Andy that if he is ever released, he will visit a specific hayfield near Buxton, Maine, and retrieve a package he buried there.
Red worries about Andy’s wellbeing especially when he learns Andy asked another inmate to supply him a 6 feet of rope. The next day Andy’s cell is empty while the roll call. Norton threw a rock on the poster and finds a tunnel dug by him over the last 19 years.
The previous night Andy escaped through the tunnel and prison sewage pipe, using the rope to bring with him Norton’s suit, shoes and the files containing all the details of the money laundering.
While guards search for him, he poses himself as Randall Stephens and visits several banks to withdraw the laundered money. The mails the files and evidence of corruption and murders at Shawshank to a local newspaper.
Fear can hold you Prisoner, Hope can set you free
FBI agents arrive at Shawshank and arrests Hadley. To avoid the arrest, Norton suicides, by shooting himself by a gun.
Red is released from prison and as he said earlier he was institutionalized. He found difficulty in adjusting to outside world. He decides to keep the promise to Aden and left for the place he promised to.
Finally the two friends reunite in Zihuantanejo and happily lived after.