It is not based on a true story but it is based on the Stephen King novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”. There were several differences between the novella and the film, but the film was never based on anything in real life.What does The Shawshank Redemption symbolize?
The biggest symbol in the Shawshank Redemption is the Rock Hammer. For Andy, the rock hammer represents his freedom. He uses it for entertainment when he carves rocks into chess pieces, at least that's what all the other inmates believe. Andy uses his rock hammer that Red gets him when he first arrives.