Shawshank Redemption tells the story of successful banker Andy Dufrense who is convicted of the murder of his wife and her loverthough he maintained his innocence he is sentenced to life in Shawshank Prison. In prison Andy has a difficult time adjusting and for the most part keep quiet and to himself, this causes the other prisoners thinking that he is stuck up. He is attacked by the other inmates repeatedly , he soon befriends prison smuggler Red and asks him to procure a rock hammer so that he may carve small rock figures in his spare time and a large pinup poster. One day Andy hears chief guard Byron Hadley complaining about payin taxes on his recent inheritance and agrees to help him through a financial tax free loophole in exchange for beers fo the other inmates. After Andy is viciously beaten by the leader of the gang called the Sisters Boggs, Hadley savagely beats Boggs and he is transferred to another prison. Soon Andy is handling all the guards finances and is reassigned to the library where he meets Brooks and old inmate, Andy notices the icrepit state of the library and begins writing letters to the state for funds to rebuild the library. Later Andy receives a donation to the library which includes a record which he plays over the prison intercoms in the wardens office. Andy is sentenced to solitary confinement. When he is released he tells Red that his sense of hope is something the prison can not take away from him. Soon even warden Norton begin to use Andy's financial skills to launder money from using prisoners as a cheap public labor source under the alias Randall Stephens.
In 1965 a new prisoner Tommy comes to Shawshank and joins Andy and Reds group. Andy helps him pass his GED test which gives Andy, along with building the library, a sense of purpose and importance in prison. After hearing about Andys case he reveals that an inmate at another prison has bragged of the same crime, when Andy takes this information to the warden to ask for an appeal in his case, in fear of his money laundering becoming known the warden refuses. He places Andy in solitary when he refuses to further help the warden, the warden threatens to destroy the library that Andy has built thanks to donations from the state. The wrden then has Hadley murder Tommy under as fale escape story. When Andy is released from solitary he tells Red of his dream of living in Zihuatanejo, Mexico and instructs Red where to find a package has left for him under a tree in a field near Buxton. The next day at roll call Andys cell is empty, an angry Norton throws one of Andys rock figures at the poster on the wall, when the rock gos through the poster its discovered that Andy had tunneled his way through the walls and escaped to the outside after breaking the sewage line with a rock and crawling 500 yards to the outside. Andy escapes to Mexico, he sends Red a blank postcard from the Texas border letting him know he made it. After Reds parole he finds the box Andy had left for him containing money and a letter asking him to meet Andy in Mexico, which Red eventually fulfills.
For the most part the main source of entrapment in the movie is physically in the prison, most of the prisoners have given up hope of being free. Their only means of escape is fantasizing that they were free like they do on the roof while they are drinking. The prison is the place where all of the inmates are developed and where a few such as Andy and Red find a sense of purpose amongst the despair. Andys purpose comes from his building up the prison library from its earlier abismal state; also from helping Tommy get his GED. Andy is able to maintain his sense of hope and keep from becoming mentally entrapped as to many of the other inmates. Andy keeps his compsure and goal in mind despite being a victim of injustice both being falsely imprisoned and being extorted by the warden. After Tommys murder Andy really used this for a catalyst for change and he decides that he is going to take control of his own life and he will not have to fantasize about being free again, but would rather make it a reality.