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Literary Analysis: Forrest Gump

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Megan Tomlinson

on 28 April 2014

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Transcript of Literary Analysis: Forrest Gump

Disability Analysis: Forrest Gump
Clip 1
All in all, Forrest Gump shows audiences that when one has an impairment or disability that they can still lead a successful and meaningful life. He adapts to his environment based on the Social Model and grows as a man with disabilities throughout his life. Forrest overcomes much in his life that most people would have never expected from him. Just because he was seen as different doesn't mean he didn't have the heart and drive to accomplish goals within his time. Forrest rose to every occasion and completed his life goals. Like Forrest had said, Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get!
Text Analysis that Connects to Disability in Forrest Gump
Example 1:
"Disabled literary characters usually remain on the margins of fiction as uncomplicated figures or exotic aliens whose bodily configurations operate as spectacles, eliciting responses from other characters or producing rhetorical effects that depend on disability's cultural resonance" (Disability, Identity, and Representation,Thompson 9).
How it represents disability:
Represented in Clip 1

Clip 1 Analyzed
"But, is-- i he smart? or is he..."
This clip of when Forrest recognizes that he and Jenny had a child together is one of much awkwardness. Forrest sees his disability not only has an unspoken and embarrassing topic, but he can't even fathom that his child might also have the same disability, too. In relation to our textual examples, especially within Berube's piece,Berube explains that dictionaries often include that the term "disability" is a deficiency. Forest's high IQ and loving ways are nothing but extraordinary, yet Forest still sees his disability as a negative and hopes that his son isn't "burdened" by this "deficiency",also.
Clip 2 Analyzed
The significance of the bench scenes is to portray that throughout the film Forrest waits for the bus to come that he doesn't even need to take in the first place. The irony of this shows that Forest just wanted someone to listen to his stories and share his experiences with without feeling judged since he did not know all the bus-goers prior.

Related to how Thompson explained that people want to be considered normal and "definitive human beings". Forrest's disability makes him feel like he isn't a part of humanity because he was segregated from a young age while in school. These scenes help the viewer to understand his struggles, but also allows Forrest's character to develop as a human connecting to another despite his disability.
Example 2:
"A glance through a few dictionaries will reveal definitions of disability that include incapacity, a disadvantage, deficiency, especially a physical or mental impairment that restricts normal achievement; something that hinders or incapacitates, something that incapacitates or disqualifies" (Disclaiming Disability, Berube 11).
How it represents disability: Represented in Clip 1
Example 3
: "The term normate usually designates the social figure through which people can represents themselves as definitive human beings" (Disability, Identity, and Representation,Thompson 8).
How it represents disability: Represented in Clip 2

Disability Analysis:
Forrest Gump
Plot Summary:
As a young boy Forrest had issues in school and his mom comes in to speak to the principal. Forrest's mother makes a move on the principal to ensure Forrest's spot within the school. Due to his disability, he was seem as a "freak" during his younger years. As the movie progresses Forrest is seen sitting on the bench relaying his past history and stories to all that sit with him. He overcomes and develops much adversity in his years to follow. As a child, Forrest met a girl named Jenny and fell in love with her throughout his life. Jenny later on dies from an illness and we learn at the conclusion of the movie that they had a child together and that he is very intelligent.

Based off the Medical Vs. Social Model we determined that Forrest falls within the Social Model because he must work around the ways of being impaired as his school and lifestyle do not adapted to him, he must adapt to it.
Character Analysis: Forrest
Character Analysis: Lt. Dan
-Forrest is best defined as a Super Crip. He constantly shows that he can overcome anything. In one of the first scenes he is given a leg brace so he could walk due to his back. Later on while limping away from bullies he begins to run noticing that they are gaining on him and breaks through his braces and runs away. (Run forest Run). He then is noticed by Alabama recruiters in his high school senior year while running away from bullies. He runs through the football field and runs past all the players and is recruited to Alabama as a kick returner. He ends up becoming an All American Football player for Alabama and meets the President (Kennedy). He goes to war and saves the lives of many men, including Lt. Deng, another crip in the story. He is given the Medal of Honor and while in the hospital is shown how to play ping pong. He begins playing and ends up becoming an All American Ping Pong player. He ends up playing for USA against China and is sponsored. He then fulfils a wish to his friend Bubba who was his best friend in the war and uses his money to buy a shrimp boat. After a flood, he begins getting loads of fish, and names his company Bubba Gump. This company makes him filthy rich. He even runs across all of America, just to run and starts massive trends with “shit happens” and wiping his face with his beard which resembled Jesus.
Lt. Dan gets his legs from the knee down taken away from him. He constantly curses Gump in the hospital who actually rescues him. He curses him because he states “my destiny was to die out in that field.” He claims that Forrest took that away from him. Even when being saved he told Forrest to leave him to die with his men. He constantly curses god for leaving him cripple and hates him. He struggles through depression and begins drinking heavily.

Forrest Continued
- He is also a comic misadventurer. His saying is “stupid is as stupid does.” His whole life is a comic misadventure. His simple mindedness makes him filthy rich and he accomplishes a lot. He meets three presidents and has awkward encounters with all of them. During the all American conference when he meets Kennedy all the other players say it is an honor to play, while he simply states that “I have to pee” because he drinks 15 doctor peppers. In his encounter with Johnson while getting his medal of honor, Johnson says he’d like to see his wound as a joke, so Forrest takes it literal and moons the president to see his wound. He then exposes Nixon to Watergate, because he thought there was a maintenance problem in the room across and people were flashing their lights. He thinks that the company Apple was just a fruit store and he makes millions investing in it. He enters the war and because he does literally all that he is told by his Sargent. His Sargent comically says “Forrest you’re a god damn genius.” Because tells him that he’s in the war to do as he is told. He goes in a run around the whole world just because he felt like running and stops when he’s “tired.” His constant running is due to his love for a girl named Jenny telling him to “run” He becomes an all American football player from being told to just run. He becomes an all American ping pong player because a guy just told him to keep his eye on the ball at all times and he excels in it. He becomes an icon through all his misadventures
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