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It is about a man named Forest Gump who is facing challenges in his life. The story stays narrated in retrospect, but in the end, it goes in chronological order. The movie is told from a third-person point of view, but Forrest Gump narrates the story and expresses his thoughts throughout. The movie starts out happy, but gets sad further into the movie. The main characters are Forrest Gump and Jenny Curran.
The story follows the lead that is Forrest, but also follows Jenny the female protagonist. Forrest Gump is not the smartest person on earth. He is slow when it comes to comprehending academic things and figuring things out in general. That is not strange when he is mentally retarded. Forrest is a loving and kind person. Forrest wants to protect those he cares about, especially Jenny. She is Forrest childhood friend. Forrest is loves his mother. She had a big impact on him as a kid. He shows us this by recalling what she used to say to him, throughout the movie. As a child, her father sexually abused Jenny Curran. You can assume that her bad childhood greatly swayed her life, as later in life she takes drugs, becomes a prostitute, and tries to commit suicide. Jenny goes and lives her life, by destroying it. However, she becomes more stable later on in the movie; maybe it is because of her child or because she is dying. Jenny does not return Forrest affection for her. She lets him down a lot throughout the movie, by just leaving him multiple times.
Dan Taylor was an honored man, before his legs were, amputated after taken part of the Vietnam War. Forrest saved him in the Vietnam War, but Dan did not want help, and he became bitter because of this. However, later his liking towards Forrest increases. Forrest life is in confusion because his biggest drawback is his mental retardation, with his IQ of 75, discovered when he is a kid. Forrest also was handicapped as a kid, with his crooked back. Due to his disabilities, Forrest experienced bullying at school. Forrest main struggle is with Jenny, whom was his only friend growing up. He is in a continuous conflict during the movie, he does not know whether to love Jenny or be her friend.
Death is another characteristic of life that Forrest has to learn to deal with, everybody he cares about dies, one after another. Bubba dies first, his mother died next, and Jenny died in the end. However, Forrest accepts death as a part of life, and therefore this does not become a conflict. His problem with Jenny was resolved in the end when she accepts him for who he was and finally marries him. The movie begins with Forrest Gump sitting at a bus stop, and a feather falling down to his feet. Forrest picks up the feather and puts it inside a book. Then he starts telling the story of his life to a woman sitting next to him. An interesting part of the movie is that throughout, the people listening to Forrest’s story keep changing. Forrest tells us about how his childhood, while he is going to doctor with his mother. Since he had a problem with straightening his back, he had to use special shoes to make it right. Forrest’s mother, Mrs. Gump, used to tell Forrest that he was no different from anybody else, but this was proven wrong when it was discovered that his IQ was 75, which was below normal.
As a child, Jenny Curran was Forrest’s only friend. Because of Forrest’s disabilities, other boys bullied him. Once, chased by bike riders, he discovered that he could run fast (this saves his, and others”, lives many times). This same incident occurred again a couple of years later: Forrest was, chased by cars, ran as fast as the wind and he continued through a football field, where a match was going on. A football coach, amazed by his speed, made him join the football team, and this was how Forrest got into college. Forrest, always trying to protect Jenny, once, beats up her date, because he misunderstands the situation. This happens several times in the movie, and not necessarily because he does not know what is going on. After graduation, Forrest joins the U.S. Army, while Jenny is kicked out of school because of some pictures of her in the Playboy magazine. While serving his duty in the U.S. Army, Forrest is sent to the war in Vietnam. Here he makes a good friend, Bubba, who knows everything there is to know about shrimps. Forrest and Bubba makes a deal, that they will start their own shrimp business one day. Bubba never made it back to America alive, since his squad was ambushed, many other people survived because of Forrest running through the forest, and carrying people out. One of these people was Forrest’s Lieutenant: Dan Taylor, who did not want help, and got his legs amputated later. Forrest gets the Medal of Honor for his deeds. Forrest travels to Bayou La Batre, where Bubba’s family lives, and buys a boat, to start the “Bubba Gump Shrimp Company”. Lieutenant Dan joins him.
After the hurricane, their business becomes a big success, since their boat is the only one left. As a sign of kindness, Forrest sends money to Bubba’s family. After this, Forrest’s mother dies, and Forrest goes back home. After his mother’s death, Forrest stayed in the house, and is visited by Jenny. That night Forrest proposes to Jenny, but she turns him down. Later that night, they have sex. The next morning, Jenny leaves Forrest…again. This kick started Forrest “three years-two months-fourteen days-and-sixteen hours-run” across America. People considered he was doing this for some special reason and he became an inspiration for many, but Forrest did this because he “felt like running”. Forrest is telling his story; and an old woman sits next to him. Forrest tells her that he was there to visit Jenny and shows the old woman a letter Jenny has sent. The woman tells Forrest where the place was, and that he did not need to take the bus. Forrest runs to Jenny’s apartment, and discovers that he is the father of her child, who is not born mentally retarded. Jenny finally marries Forrest but not long after, Jenny dies, because of an unknown and deadly virus. It ends with Forrest and his son, boarding the school bus on the first day of school.
The feather that was inside Forrest’s book falls out and travels through the sky. The key theme in “Forrest Gump” is life and not to give up on it; it is about managing the obstacles on one’s path. Forrest faced so many challenges, but he pushed himself through them. Just like the phrase, his mother told him: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get”. Forrest dealt with things, as they came. Another theme is accepting yourself for who you are, and for what you do. The phrase: “Stupid is as stupid does” is important here. It means that you are as stupid as the things you do. Forrest Gump was not stupid in this case. He was mentally dumb, but he did not do stupid things (maybe some, but who does not?). The movie also deals a lot with death, so accepting death as a part of life is another message.
Some symbolisms are already mentioned, but the feather in the beginning and the end of the movie is important. It symbolizes destiny and luck. Forrest came across Jenny many times, after she left him. It was plain luck or/and destiny.
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