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Forest Gump

September 19, 2015

FGEcclesiastes 4:9-12:  Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

The film begins with a feather falling to the feet of Forrest Gump who is sitting at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia. Forrest picks up the feather and puts it in the book Curious George, then tells the story of his life to a woman seated next to him. The listeners at the bus stop change regularly throughout his narration, each showing a different attitude ranging from disbelief and indifference to rapt veneration.

[young Jenny’s father is chasing her through the fields to beat her when she stops and hides] Young Jenny Curran: Dear God, make me a bird. So I could fly far. Far far away from here.

[repeated line] Forrest Gump: My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Mrs. Gump: You have to do the best with what God gave you.

Drill Sergeant: Gump! What’s your sole purpose in this army?
Forrest Gump: To do whatever you tell me, drill sergeant!
Drill Sergeant: God damn it, Gump! You’re a god damn genius! This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard. You must have a goddamn I.Q. of 160. You are goddamn gifted, Private Gump. Listen up, people…
Forrest Gump: [narrates] Now for some reason I fit in the army like one of them round pegs. It’s not really hard. You just make your bed real neat and remember to stand up straight and always answer every question with “Yes, drill sergeant.”
Drill Sergeant: …Is that clear?
Forrest Gump: Yes, drill sergeant!

Forrest Gump: Mama always said, dying was a part of life.

 

Lieutenant Daniel Taylor: Have you found Jesus yet, Gump?
Forrest Gump: I didn’t know I was supposed to be looking for him, sir.

 

Lieutenant Daniel Taylor: That’s what all these cripples down at the VA talk about: Jesus this and Jesus that. They even had a priest come and talk to me. He said God is listening and if I found Jesus, I’d get to walk beside him in the kingdom of Heaven. Did you hear what I said? WALK beside him in the kingdom of Heaven! Well kiss my crippled ass. God is listening? What a crock of shit.

Jenny Curran: Have you ever been with a girl, Forrest?
Forrest Gump: [nervously] I sit next to them in my Home Economics class…

 

Forrest Gump: My Mama always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.

Bumper Sticker Guy: [running after Forrest] Hey man! Hey listen, I was wondering if you might help me. ‘Cause I’m in the bumper sticker business and I’ve been trying to think of a good slogan, and since you’ve been such a big inspiration to the people around here I thought you might be able to help me jump into – WOAH! Man, you just ran through a big pile of dog shit!
Forrest Gump: It happens.
Bumper Sticker guy: What, shit?
Forrest Gump: Sometimes.

 

Forrest Gump: What’s my destiny, Mama?
Mrs. Gump: You’re gonna have to figure that out for yourself.

Forrest Gump is based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. Both centre around the character of Forrest Gump. However, the film primarily focuses on the first eleven chapters of the novel, before skipping ahead to the end of the novel with the founding of Bubba Gump Shrimp and the meeting with Forrest Jr. In addition to skipping some parts of the novel, the film adds several aspects to Forrest’s life that do not occur in the novel, such as his needing leg braces as a child and his run across the country.

Using the “foolish things of the world to confound the wise” and having a “child-like” faith are two of the many Biblical themes woven into this remarkable, Oscar-winning story of a simple, unassuming man who somehow finds himself at the center of just about every major historical event from the 1950s to the early ’80s.

Like the wind that blows the feather wherever it wants, we can only speculate whether or not there is a force in control of all things or whether our lives are nothing more than pure chaos and chance. Life is beyond figuring out.  At times there seems to be a force in control and other times it seems that things happen by pure chance.  In the end…..we just don’t know.

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