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Forrest Gump by Robert Zemeckis Research Paper

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Updated: Oct 20th, 2019


Forrest Gump is a motivating movie about the struggles that we go through in life and it gives hope that there is always a way out of every quagmire. Directed by Robert Zemeckis with Tom Hanks playing the role of Forrest; this is a classical must-watch movie of all the times. The main theme here is that, no matter what happens in life, there is a way out and we should never give up. This is evidenced by the humble beginning of Forrest and the achievements he achieved later in life.

As the movie starts, we understand that Forrest has an awful spinal cord problem coupled with a low IQ that is below ‘normal’ levels. Nothing seems to work the way of this young man together with his mother who works tirelessly to ensure that her son gets and becomes the best. The mother approaches the principal of Greenbow County Central School expecting to explain her son’s condition and get help. Regrettably, the principal takes advantage of her and makes sexual advances.

In the wake of these events, Forrest undergoes through social torment in the hands of fellow schoolmates and other people ranging from bullying to social isolation. The best thing Forrest gets from people is reproach and disdain. However, this does not keep him down; he keeps on moving, as fate seems to work for him more than often.

On the other side, Jenny, Forrest’s close friend, also goes through many life difficulties. We realise as the movie progresses that Jenny had an abusive father and she never has peace at home. In college, bullying continues but still, this does not stop Forest from moving on in life.

Despite all these shortcomings in Forrest’s life, he moves on to become a champion, a champion in his own world. He starts by winning a rugby trophy; joins the army; engages in war in Vietnam and meets many prominent American people like George Wallace, John Lennon, Presidents Nixon, Johnson and Kennedy.

Forrest comes out as true champion, with a big heart to help people. In the middle of these challenges and triumphs, Forrest does not forget her lover of youth, Jenny. Despite the fact that she walks out of his life on several occasions, she does not leave his mind. As the movie nears to end, Forrest marries Jenny; unfortunately, she is terminally ill and she passes on, a while after wedding.

Why This Movie

The writer chose this movie because of its peculiarity. Even though Forrest goes through somewhat strange situations, he manages to overcome and emerges as a champion. The incidences of this movie relate well with real life situations and it expounds on what people go through in reality. Forrest Gump is a true depiction of what really happens in life. People start from humble beginnings and make it in life.

This gives hope that, in every desert of calamity, there is an oasis of hope. It stresses on the importance of pushing on in life despite the situation that someone is going through. Despite the fact that Forrest is facing what appears to be insurmountable, he comes out in a way or the other. Starting from his childhood, nothing seems to work out for him. First, we do not hear anything about his father. Maybe his mother was a single or maybe the father died in a war or something of that sort.

Nevertheless, this does not bother Forrest and he chooses to move on in life. Think of a child with a very low IQ coupled with awful spinal cord problem. This is so debilitating; yet, Forrest does not stop at it. He moves on and as fate may have it, he emerges a champion, achieving what many people could never think of.

This movie is an all rounded episode; touching nearly all frontiers of life. It starts from childhood and challenging parenting, moves through school life and finds its way to adulthood where one has to work and love or be loved among other issues. Through marriage to death, Forrest Gump is a real motivator.

The writer identified with this movie as it relates to daily life happenings and any one who has been going through grinding moments and reached a point where he or she feels that life challenges are winning the battle, he or she should watch this movie. Moreover, this movie ties closely to the topics covered in class.

Relation to Topics Discussed in Class

Forrest Gump ties closely to the topics discussed in class. The topics in class expounded on family and community dealing mainly on child abuse, drug abuse, bullying in school among other issues that are pertinent in the society. The issue of child abuse and bullying in school sets in, immediately after the movie commences. Forrest goes through a lot of torment both in school and outside the school.

He is abused socially because of his low IQ and health condition. He faces social isolation, save for his mother who offers to give him the best. Bullying moves to an extent where the bullied loses contact with all people around him or her including those not involved in the bullying. This is evident as we see a rift growing between Forrest and Jenny as the bullying intensified.

On the other hand, Jenny is going through the same fate of abuse in the hands of her abusive father. It is until Forrest visits Jenny that he realizes what she goes through. On the issue of drug abuse, we see Jenny slowly drifting into drug abuse. Actually, she spends most of her time in a bar where she takes Forrest upon meeting after he gave a speech about the war in Vietnam.

Due to overindulgence in alcoholism and many years of drug addiction, Jenny suffers from a terminal disease. After some few years of struggle with her sickness under the care of Forrest, Jenny finally passes on leaving a broken heart and shattered dream that never was for Forrest. Forrest weeps on the graveyard of his wife; however, nothing much can be done; she is gone; gone for good. The point is, Jenny died from drug abuse and this tie closely to the topics studied in class.


Forrest Gump is a classical masterpiece that everyone should watch. This movie is a typical exemplary of what happens to most of us if not all of us. Forrest goes through much trouble and faces many obstacles in life; however, this does not seem to deter him from achieving his dream of marrying Jenny; helping the poor and doing his best in life among other issues. It takes the audience through the journey of life from childhood through adulthood to death.

Then the cycle begins again, for as the movie ends, we see Forrest junior at the bus station; the exact point where his father’s journey started. We really cannot tell if the life of Forrest junior will go through the same process as his father’s or it will be better or worse. This is a story of American history through the most distinctive decades in America’s progression in 60s, 70s and 80s. It is heart warming, vibrant and inspirational.

Finally, Tom Hanks has never been at his best than in this movie. As he tries to understand the world around him from his ‘stupid’ point of view, he brings out the true character of Forrest and the audience connects emotionally as the journey commences.

This research paper on Forrest Gump by Robert Zemeckis was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
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IvyPanda. 2019. "Forrest Gump by Robert Zemeckis." October 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/forrest-gump/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Forrest Gump by Robert Zemeckis'. 20 October.

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