Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
Forrest Gump was created as a fictional character by Winston Groom in his 1986 novel of the same name. The character later appears in the eponymous movie “Forrest Gump” in 1994 that was directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film chronicles the life of Forrest Gump through several decades, highlighting the challenges he faced and had to overcome along the way. His is a story that has influenced many stories of adversity and the triumph that comes thereafter. This narrative details the story of Forrest Gump, who manages to overcome several difficult situations in his life. The paper will use his character from the film “Forrest Gump.”A Student Sample: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
From the beginning of the film, it is obvious that Gump is set for a difficult life. Gump himself narrates most of the story which is told from a third person perspective. Forrest Gump was born with a crooked spine, although he had very strong legs. Due to his spinal problem, he had to wear leg braces, which rendered almost all physical activity impossible. Additionally, he had a very low IQ, making learning problematic as Gump was denied admission to public school. He, however, gained admission through his mother’s consistent nagging of the school principal. Gump was consistently referred to as “stupid,” which was also evident in his speech. Although he does not overcome this “stupidity,” Gump goes on to break barriers on many fronts.
One key characteristic of Gump is that he is good-natured and determined, which is why he does not let his disabilities hinder him from leading a successful life. The first instance where this determination is revealed is when Gump breaks off his leg braces in a race as he is being chased by bullies. When a group of bullies taunt Gump and throw stones at him, his childhood friend Jenny tells him to run away. This was a difficult task given that Gump wore leg braces. Gump started to run away, only for the bullies to give chase on their bikes. The struggle to keep running resulted in Gump’s leg braces breaking apart, upon which he discovered he could run much faster. In this singular scene, Gump was shown to have overcome his physical disability, as previously, he had been deemed unable to engage in any form of physical activity.
Running proved to be a significant aspect of Gump’s life, one that catapulted him to different levels of prestige and stardom. While bullies remained a part of Gump’s life throughout his school life, running became his ultimate means of escape and helped him overcome a number of difficult situations. It is in another incident of running away from high school bullies, where the next phase of Gump’s life begins. Gump traversed through a football field and ran faster than all the players who were in the middle of a game. This proved to be no mean feat as the incident caught the attention of the football coach, who, amazed by his speed, asked Gump to join a college football team. Gump was granted a scholarship to the University of Alabama, where his running abilities enabled the team wins several matches. His excellence as a football player granted him a meeting with the president after he is recruited into the All-American team. A Student Sample: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Following his college years, Forrest Gump is drafted into the Army where he serves in the war in Vietnam. Here still, running becomes a great asset for Gump, who through his speed, can save the lives of many soldiers. While in Vietnam, Gump’s squad is ambushed, and he runs back to save many of his colleagues before they are maimed in a jungle bomb. One of the soldiers that are saved is Gump’s Lieutenant Dan, who insisted he did not want to be rescued. Gump’s bosom friend Bubba dies soon after being saved, leaving him distraught with grief. Gump himself is shot in the buttocks and spends some time in an infirmary after leaving the war. He is later rewarded for his bravery in the war in Vietnam by receiving the Medal of Honor from the president. This was the second time that his achievements had led him to meet the president. After his release from army service, Gump went on to buy a shrimping boat using his proceeds as a Ping-Pong champion. Together with his friend Lieutenant Dan, they ran a successful shrimp business.
The death of Gump’s mother and his frustration with Jenny after he turns down his marriage proposal results in him taking a run that lasted a little over three years. This act, which was heavily documented in several media, inspired many who thought that Gump was running for a special reason. Although running seemed to be his means of escape in most situations, it could not help Gump to run from his feelings for Jenny. Having met Jenny on his first day of public school, the latter was a significant part of Gump’s life. She helped him discover his running capabilities when he told him to run from the bullies.
Upon learning that Gump was joining the war in Vietnam, Jenny asked him never to act brave and instead to run when in the face of danger. This advice proved beneficial to Gump who saved many of his colleagues during the war. The same sentiments from Jenny were treasured by Gump to the extent he gifted her with the Presidential Medal of Honor, which he had been awarded for his war efforts. Towards the end of the film, Jenny introduces Gump to his son and asks him to marry her.
The above triumphs, from being a star football player, a war hero, a stellar Ping-Pong player, a wealthy business owner, and a cross-country runner, tell the story of all that Forrest Gump had to overcome. Much of what he achieved was a result of his good nature that led him to care deeply for his family and friends. Initially, he was repeatedly labeled as “dumb,” and incapable of amounting to anything because of his physical disability. Forrest Gump was faced by numerous adversities, among them mockery for the better part of his life, and the death of his loved ones. His mother was his earliest source of motivation, always urging him not to accept being different. She ensured that Gump went to school despite his mental retardation that caused him to be rejected by a majority of schools. She also raised him single-handedly after the death of Gump’s father when he was still young.
Other than his mother, Jenny also motivated Gump in several ways while also acting as his love interest. She continually rebuffed Gump’s advances, causing him grief each time. Each time they got close, Jenny would leave him. In spite of this, Gump loves Jenny and takes care of her during her last days. Gump’s son with Jenny who is named after him also acted as a symbol of how he overcame adversity. Forrest Gump is initially worried that his son has taken after him with regard to mental retardation, but Jenny assures him that Forrest Jr. is normal. This served as a potential victory over issues of mental health. His friendship with Bubba gave him great joy, yet was cut short after his death. It is because of the grief of losing his friend that Gump started the shrimp business, which went on to be successful. He shared this business with Lieutenant Dan who contributed to further enriching Gump after he invested in Apple Computer. Gump awards some of the proceeds from the shrimp business to Bubba’s family, showing how much he meant to him.
Difficult situations are common in people’s lives, and Forrest Gump’s story is just an example of this. He was challenged by many obstacles, all of which he shone through. The feats he achieved were a result of the obstacles Forrest Gump had to face in his life. His story is thus an inspiration to many who are afflicted and on the verge of despair. End of Paper: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW