A few weeks later, Red gets a blank postcard from a small Texas town near the Mexican border, and surmises that Andy crossed the border there. Shortly afterwards, Red is paroled . After nearly forty years' imprisonment, he finds the transition to life "outside" a difficult process. On the weekends, he hitchhikes to Buxton, searching for suitable hay fields from Andy's "directions". After several months of wandering the rural town roads, he finds a field with a rock wall on the correct side, with a black rock in it. Under this rock, he finds a letter addressed to him from "Peter Stevens" inviting him to join Peter in Mexico. With the letter is $1,000 in cash. The story ends with Red violating his parole to follow Andy to Mexico.
At the end of the day, Shawshank is all about hope (which isn't quite the same thing as freedom.). Hope is what gets the prisoners in Shawshank through each day, many times as a direct result of Andy's warm demeanor and inspirational antics. Hope helps us look forward to the next day; it helps us find happiness. Hope is what drives Andy to try to gain his freedom; for him, freedom is the final product of decades of unwavering hope. It's hard for someone not to feel a little more hopeful in his or her life after reading this book. We're pretty sure that's exactly the effect King was going for.