Despite Andy’s declaration of innocence he is retained in the prison guided by circumstantial evidence. The movie uses the character of Andy Dufrense to reflect the resilience of the human spirit and how one can retain his humanity against all odds under penitence.
Andy Dufresne in his late 40s has no reason to be apprehensive about life unless things change a little too fast for him. The corpses of his wife and her previous lover are found strewn with bullets after Andy comes to know of his wife’s illicit relationship. The circumstance goes against him when he visits his house with whiskey and bullets. Though he admits to these incidents, he declares his innocence but all he receives from the court of justice is to life sentences to serve and undergo the tough penitence of the jail at Shawshank which is known to be the most atrocious one in New England. When Eliss Red Redding befriends Andy, he foretells that the lanky and out of place Andy would not be able to sustain here for long. His prediction seems strong given that Andy is surrounded by hostile inmates and strong tough and aggressive head guards like Hadley and personalities like Warden Norton (enacted by Bob Grunton) who made their dominance clearly felt throughout. Later when Andy narrates his story to Red, he says, Bad luck, I guess. It floats around. Its got to land on somebody. It was my turn, that’s all. I was in the path of the tornado. I just didn’t expect the storm would last as long as it has. This is complemented by the harassment of the group of troublemakers and sexual assaulters named The Sisters under the leadership of Bogs. Despite being tormented Andy does not give in.nbsp. nbsp. This surrounding is ideal to prove the Prison to live up to its name and reputation of atrocity and violence and abrupt instances of abuse occur frequently.
With brutality, on one hand, corruption also prevails on the other. For instance, Warden Norton uses Andy to assist him in his operation of laundering money under the fake name of Randall Stevens.