The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption quotes

46 total quotes (ID: 531)

Andy Dufresne
Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding
Multiple Characters
Warden Samuel Norton


[about the warden] I like to think the last thing that went through his head - other than that bullet - was to wonder how the hell Andy Dufresne ever got the best of him.


[in a letter] Dear Red, If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you? I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend, Andy.

[to the warden] Sir, if I were ever to get out, I would never mention what goes on in here. I'd be just as indictable as you for laundering that money.

All I ask is three beers a piece for each of my co-workers...I think a man workin' outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds. That's only my opinion.

All I do anymore is think of ways to break my parole so maybe they'd send me back. Terrible thing to live in fear. Brooks Hatlen knew it. Knew it all too well. All I want is to be back where things make sense. Where I won't have to be afraid all the time. Only one thing stops me. A promise I made to Andy.

All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock-hammer damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through a wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than twenty.

And that's how it came to pass, that on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate factory roof in the spring of '49 wound up sitting in a row at ten o'clock in the morning, drinking icy cold Bohemia-style beer, courtesy of the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison...The colossal prick even managed to sound magnanimous. We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the Lords of all Creation. As for Andy, he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer...You could argue he'd done it to curry favor with the guards, or maybe make a few friends among us cons. Me? I think he did it just to feel normal again, if only for a short while.

Andy came to Shawshank Prison in early 1947 for murdering his wife and the fella she was bangin'. On the outside, he'd been vice-president of a large Portland bank. Good work for a man as young as he was.

Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit-smelling foulness I can't even imagine. Or maybe I just don't want to. Five hundred yards. That's the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.

Andy Dufresne, who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. Andy Dufresne, headed for the Pacific. Those of us who knew him best talk about him often. I swear the stuff he pulled. Sometimes it makes me sad, though, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.

Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes, really. Pressure and time. That and the big god-damn poster. Like I said, in prison, a man'll do most anything to keep his mind occupied. It turns out Andy's favorite hobby was totin' his wall out into the exercise yard a handful at a time.

Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'. That's god-damn right. For the second time in my life, I am guilty of committing a crime. Parole violation. Of course, I doubt they'll toss up any roadblocks for that. Not for an old crook like me.

He's a phantom, an apparition, second cousin to Harvey the rabbit. I conjured him out of thin air. He doesn't exist, except on paper...Mr. Stephens has a birth certificate, driver's license, social security number...

His first night in the joint, Andy Dufresne cost me two packs of cigarettes. He never made a sound.

I believe in two things - discipline and the Bible. Here you'll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord. Your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank.