Study Guide

The Shawshank Redemption Rocks

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Late in the movie, Red gives us the most on-the-nose instance of symbolism we could reasonably hope for:

RED: Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes, really. Pressureā€¦and time.

Obviously, he's not just talking about rocks here. Andy, who was a self-professed rock hound, took twenty years to build his tunnel, and was spurred on by the various pressures of Shawshank; the pressure of needing eyes in the back of his head to watch out for Bogs, the pressure of walking a tightrope with the guards, the pressure of wanting freedom so badly and not being able to grasp it, of having to be submissive to a warden he despises.

Pressure and time. If it's good enough for rocks, it's good enough for Andy.

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