HOPE As obvious as these effects of institutionalization are on Red and Brooks, Andy Dufresne seems somehow immune to them, as if "he wore an invisible coat that could shield him" from the prison. Unlike the other prisoners at Shawshank, Andy tries to maintain ties to his life outside the walls and simply refuses to resignedly accept his role as a prisoner. The "invisible coat" that Andy wears is hope. "It is hope that allows the self-proclaimed innocent man to survive what may or may not be an unjust imprisonment" (Turan f 1). It would appear that Andy has been able to stave off the forces of the institution, to remain a free man in spirit if not in flesh. Andy's Box that was, after all the evils and miseries of the world had fled out to afflict mankind, filled with hope.
(The Pandora theme is a recurring one throughout the film). Hope, that is, in the form of "twenty new fifty-dollar bills." With this money, Red is able to join Andy where they can both be free from the shackles of society: Zihuatanejo, Mexico. If it exists at all it is too obscure to appear even on a regional map of Mexico. This could be seen as an inspirational statement that "hope, trust, and friendship are among the most powerful of human values" Although their relationship starts purely as business (the acquisition of a rock hammer), it develops into a close friendship and the two exchange gifts, thoughts and fears among others. Andy's friendship with Red and the others (Brooks, Tommy, Heywood etc. ) shines as a beacon of humanity in terrible circumstances that no amount of brutality from the sisters, guards or warden himself can extinguish.
This brings out the best in all of them and gives them hope However, it is Andy and Red's decision to embrace all that is good and liberating: their friendship despite hatred, brutality and oppression, hope among the hopeless, the idea of freedom within their incarceration, that allows them both to 'crawl through a river of shit' to survive and thrive in well-earned liberation. Without each other both had bleak prospects: Red doubted his ability to make it on the outside, Andy might well have been crushed by his imprisonment, but by clinging to hope and reaching successfully for the seemingly unattainable they found salvation. Andy's ire is internal; he doesn't rant about his situation or the corruptness of the system that has imprisoned him. His unwillingness to surrender hope wins him the admiration of some and the contempt of others, and allows the audience to identify with him that much more strongly.